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S Korea Exports Drop For 6th Month Running on Weak Demand

The semiconductor sector’s troubles were also blamed for the decrease with the Asian powerhouse a major global tech player

South Korea's exports declined for a seventh straight month in April, their longest plunge in three years.
A truck drives between containers at a terminal at Incheon port, in this file photo from 2016. A slump in exports to China and continuing trade pressure from weak global demand. Photo: Reuters.


South Korea’s exports fell in March year-on-year for the sixth month in a row, hit by a slumping global economy and semiconductor sector woes, data showed on Saturday.

Asia’s fourth-largest economy exported goods worth $55.12 billion in March, down 13.6% from a year earlier, the trade ministry’s data showed, compared with drops of 7.5% in February and the 17.5% tipped in a Reuters poll.

It was the longest losing streak in exports in annual terms since August 2020.

For the January-March period, exports fell 12.6% from a year earlier, steeper than 10.0% in the preceding three months and the worst since the second quarter of 2020, boding ill for the heavily trade-dependent economy.


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South Korea is the first major exporting economy to release trade data each month, with a diversified portfolio from chips to cars and ships, providing an early glimpse into the state of global demand.

By destination, exports to China dropped 33.4% in March, extending losses to a 10th straight month and marking the worst since January 2009. Shipments to the United States rose 1.6%, while those to the European Union fell 1.2%.

Semiconductor exports slumped 34.5%, in the eighth month of falls, but with the pace easing from a month before. Car exports jumped 64.2% to a record amount, but petrochemical products fell 25.1%.

Imports in March fell 6.4% to $59.75 billion, versus a 3.5% rise in the previous month and a 6.6% fall expected by economists. It was the fastest drop since August 2020.

As a result, the country clocked a trade deficit of $4.62 billion in March. It was the 13th consecutive monthly deficit, but the smallest since September 2022.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


Read more:

South Korea Says New US Rules Won’t Shut Its China Chip Plants

South Korea Slides Toward Recession With Record Trade Deficit

South Korea Eyes Huge Incentives for Chip Investments at Home




Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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