SEOUL, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) — South Korea’s export topped 50 billion U.S. dollars for five months to September due to robust demand for locally-made semiconductor and oil product, a government report showed Monday.
Export, which accounts for about half of the export-driven economy, amounted to 50.58 billion dollars in September, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
It was down 8.2 percent from a year earlier on less business days, but the monthly figure exceeded 50 billion dollars for five months since May.
The Chuseok holiday, the country’s Thanksgiving Day, moved to September this year from October last year, reducing the number of working days last month by 4 days.
The ministry forecast the country’s export would post a double-digit growth in October.
The daily average export, which excludes the working-day effect, advanced 10.6 percent from a year earlier to reach a new record high of 2.59 billion dollars in September.
During the January-September period, the outbound shipment reached a fresh high of 450.4 billion dollars, up 4.7 percent from the same period of last year.
The daily average export also touched a new high of 2.25 billion dollars in the January-September period.
Import fell 2.1 percent over the year to 40.84 billion dollars in September, marking the first decline in 23 months.
Trade surplus was 9.74 billion dollars in September, staying in the black for 80 months in a row.
The export continued to surpass 50 billion dollars last month thanks to solid global demand for semiconductor and oil product that offset the working-day effect.
Chip export hit a new monthly high of 12.43 billion dollars in September, up 28.3 percent from a year ago. It took up almost one-fourth of the total outbound shipment.
Oil product export surpassed 3 billion dollars for 11 straight months, logging a double-digit increase. Shipment of computer gained for the 18th consecutive month through September.
Other major export items turned downward for the fall in business days. Exports for auto parts, textiles, steel, ship and home appliances recorded a double-digit slump last month.
Petrochemical export declined 5.2 percent, but it topped 4 billion dollars for 10 months in a row thanks to strong global demand and higher crude oil price.
Automobile shipment tumbled 22.4 percent on less working days that offset rising demand for locally-made cars in the United States.
Display panel export shrank 12.1 percent on lower price for liquid crystal display (LCD) panel.
Export for telecommunications device, such as smartphone, plunged 33.1 percent amid the stiffer competition and the increase production in overseas factories.
Exports to China, South Korea’s biggest trading partner, and India increased 7.8 percent and 11.2 percent respectively, but those to other major economies lost ground last month.
Shipments to the United States, the European Union (EU), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Middle East, Vietnam and Latin American countries posted a double-digit reduction in September.