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S.Korea Dec exports climb for 14th month, wrap up record 2017

January 12/2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Soaring global demand for memory chips and petrochemicals helped South Korea's exports surge 8.9% in December, lifting its 2017 shipments to the highest on record in value terms, reported Reuters.

Exports for the year as a whole jumped USD573.9 B or 15.8%, data showed in early 2018, making last year the best since relevant data began to be compiled in 1956.

The government is expecting still-solid but more modest export growth of 4% this year. With the economy riding the global trade boom, South Korea's central bank raised interest rates for the first time in more than 6 yr in November.

"Downside risks for South Korea are the won's strength, rising interest rates and oil prices. They are the new three risks," trade minister Paik Un-gyu said in a statement.

A further wild cards will be trade talks with the United States, which is keen to revise a 2012 deal to reduce its trade deficit with South Korea. Talks began on Jan. 5.

December's 8.9% expansion slightly underperformed the 10.3% growth forecast by economists in a Reuters poll and eased from 9.5% in November.

But six of the nation's major export products, including semiconductors, petrochemical products, computers posted double-digit expansion from a year earlier, even as the month had two fewer working days than in December 2016.

Imports jumped 13% December from a year earlier, beating the 12.1% expansion seen in the survey and 12.7% in the previous month.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, South Korea.
Category:General News
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