Seoul, July 1 (efe-epa).- South Korea’s trade surplus fell 6.09 percent year-on-year to stand a $3.66 billion in June due to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
Exports, one of the most important pillars of Asia’s fourth-largest economy, were particularly affected and dropped 10.9 percent year-on-year in June to stand at $39.21 billion, according to the data published by the South Korean customs office.
The figures show the fourth consecutive month of year-on-year declines in exports, the main contributor to the country’s gross domestic product.
However, as many economies around the world have resumed commercial activity, the decline was not as sharp as those recorded in the months of May and April when South Korea had its first trade deficit in 98 months.
Outbound shipments totalled $39.2 billion in June, compared with $44 billion a year earlier, according to Yonhap news agency citing the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
On the other hand, imports recorded a drop of 11.4 percent based on year-on-year figures to stand at $35.54 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $3.67 billion.
Among the goods that suffered the most due to the effects of the pandemic were automobiles and petrochemical products as they saw their exports decline 33.2 percent and 11.8 percent year-on-year in June respectively. Overseas sales of auto parts dropped 45 percent, while exports of petroleum products also nearly halved year-on-year.
Exports of chips, South Korea’s mainstay good, remained almost unchanged from last year at $8.3 billion – making up about 21 percent of total exports, Yonhap reported, adding that computer exports soared 91.5 percent while shipments of biohealth products and foodstuffs also jumped 53 percent and 11.7 percent, respectively.
Exports to China, the largest trading partner of the country, increased 9.5 percent year-on-year after the former resumed its economic activity at full throttle.
However, exports to the United States and the European Union, the second- and third-largest trading partners of South Korea, dropped 8.3 percent and 17 percent year-on – year, respectively. EFE-EPA