In early February, exports decreased by more than 10% due to the decrease in working days.

While imports also decreased by double digits, semiconductor exports increased by more than 40%.

According to the Korea Customs Service today (13th), exports from February 1st to 10th (provisional value based on customs clearance) amounted to $15.011 billion, a 14.6% decrease from the same period last year.

However, the average daily export amount considering the number of operating days increased by 11.7%.

The number of working days during this period was 6.5 days, two days less than last year (8.5 days).

Monthly exports have been increasing for four months from October last year to last month.

By item, semiconductor exports increased by 42.2%.

As of the 1st to 10th, this is the first time since November 2021 (45.2%) that semiconductor exports have increased by more than 40%.

Monthly semiconductor exports have been positive for three months since November last year.

On the other hand, exports of most major items decreased, including petroleum products (-21.0%), passenger cars (-36.3%), steel products (-23.6%), and ships (-35.6%).

By country, exports to China decreased by 20.3%.

Last month, exports to China rebounded for the first time in 20 months.

Exports to the United States also decreased by 12.4%.

However, exports to the United States amounted to $2.844 billion, exceeding exports to China ($2.817 billion).

Imports from the 1st to the 10th of this month decreased by 24.6% to $17.012 billion.

Imports of crude oil (-14.3%), semiconductors (-13.7%), gas (-57.5%), coal (-43.5%), and passenger vehicles (-54.0%) decreased.

By country, imports from China (-3.4%), the United States (-31.7%), and the European Union (EU·-23.3%) decreased.

The trade balance was a deficit of $2.01 billion.

In the same period last month, there was a deficit of $3.09 billion.

The monthly trade balance has been in surplus for eight months as of last month.

From the 1st to the 10th of this month, the trade balance with China was in deficit by $743 million.

Cho Ik-no, trade policy director at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, said, “The double-digit negative export growth rate in February is a temporary phenomenon due to a lack of working days due to the Lunar New Year holiday,” adding, “This month, automobile and exports to China will slow down due to the Lunar New Year holiday and Chinese New Year.” “However, overall export growth will continue, focusing on information technology (IT) items such as semiconductors,” he said.

(Photo = Yonhap News)