South Korea’s exports will likely drop more than 6 percent from a year earlier in 2019, dipping below the $600 billion mark only one year after breaching the threshold, a local trade agency said on June 27.
According to the state-run Korea International Trade Association, the country’s outbound shipments are expected to reach $566 billion this year, down 6.4 percent from a year earlier.
The report also predicted imports to drop 4.1 percent on-year to $513 billion.
The projected drop will come one year after the country‘s exports breached the $600 billion mark for the first time in its history.
Korea’s exports have been on a steady decline since December, partly due to sluggish global demand for semiconductors, the country’s No. 1 export item, accounting for nearly one quarter of its overall exports.
Many believe the slump in the global semiconductor market may be cyclical or one caused by an oncoming change in technology.
KITA noted a recovery in the global chip market may be delayed until next year due to a delay in investment by global IT firms. It said the country’s semiconductor exports may plunge by more than 21 percent on-year to around $100 billion this year.
Korean exporters have also been facing an increasingly challenging environment created by the trade dispute between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies and the two largest importers of South Korean goods.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (email@example.com)