The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) announced on March 1 that Korea’s export value went up 9.5 percent to $44.8 billion in February. Imports also increased 13.9 percent to $42.1 billion. The trade balance stood at a surplus of $2.7 billion, staying positive for the 10th consecutive month.
Exports in February showed growth for the fourth consecutive month despite three fewer working days. Daily exports expanded 26.4 percent, showing the largest growth in 40 months.
Outbound shipments to the three largest export destinations – China, the United States (U.S.), and the European Union (EU) all advanced.
Among Korea’s 20 major export items, outbound shipments of 16 items saw growth. They are semiconductors, petrochemicals, automobiles, steel products, auto parts, ships, displays, bio-health products, wireless communication devices, plastic products, fine chemical materials, agricultural products and fisheries, secondary batteries, cosmetics, home appliances, and robots. Those of the remaining 4 items saw decreases: general machinery, petroleum products, computers, and textiles.
Exports of chips showed continued growth of 13.2 percent to $8.4 billion. Stable demand from data centers and mobile manufacturers as well as increased foundry production led to the increase.
"Those of automobiles jumped 47.0 percent to $3.5 billion. Increased export shares of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and green cars led to the improvement in export prices, and the base effect from last year when the exports slowed down because of challenges in the parts supply led to the expansion in automobile exports," said a MOTIE official.
Bio-health products spiked 62.5 percent to $1.3 billion thanks to global demand for Korea’s COVID-19 diagnostic kits and a significant rise in shipments to the EU