SEOUL: South Korea’s outbound shipments have continued to expand so far this month, government data showed Saturday, suggesting a possible recovery in exports following a downturn over the past two years.
In the first 10 days of February, outbound shipments amounted to US$15.1 billion, up 72.8 percent from the same period last year, according to data from the customs office.
An on-year increase for the entire month of February will mark a fourth consecutive month of increase for the first time at least since January 2015. South Korea’s exports had dipped for 19 consecutive months since the start of 2015 before posting a 2.6-percent rise in August 2016.
They again slipped 5.9 percent and 3.2 percent on-year in September and October, respectively, before gaining 2.5 percent in November, followed by a 6.4 percent rise in the following month.
In January, exports spiked 11.2 percent on-year to $40.3 billion, marking the first double-digit growth in 48 months since January 2013. The sharp increase in exports so far in February has been partly attributed to a 79.4-percent spike in shipments of semiconductors.
Shipments of petroleum products more than doubled, surging 137.7 percent on-year over the cited period, while those of automobiles and auto parts spiked 91.6 percent and 37.3 percent, respectively, according to the customs data.
By country, shipments to China have surged 85 percent on-year, with shipments to Vietnam and Japan soaring 68.2 percent and 64.2 percent, respectively.