SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Korea Bizwire) — Major South Korean companies’ inventories spiked nearly 36 percent in the first nine months of this year amid a global economic slump, a corporate tracker said Tuesday.
Combined inventories of 195 out of the country’s top 500 firms by sales came to 165.4 trillion won (US$122 billion) as of end-September, up 36.2 percent from the end of last year, according to the Leaders Index.
It marks the highest third-quarter amount since the institute began data tracking in 2010.
In particular, inventories of finished and half-finished products shot up about 38 percent to 140.1 trillion won, pointing to their waning exports, the Leaders Index said.
Inventories of the IT, electric and electronics industries rose at the fastest pace over the cited period, with those of 19 firms in the sectors surging about 45 percent to 58.4 trillion won.
Global tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. saw its inventory jump 42.6 percent to 36.7 trillion won, with that of chip behemoth SK hynix Inc. skyrocketing 174.7 percent to 3.4 trillion won.
Inventories of 25 petrochemical businesses soared 45.4 percent over the cited period, with those of 26 firms in the auto business swelling 23.5 percent.
Leading automaker Hyundai Motor Co. saw its inventory swell 24.4 percent to 8.4 trillion won, with that of its smaller affiliate Kia Corp. expanding 15.2 percent to 5.8 trillion won.
POSCO Energy Co. posted the highest inventory growth rate with 287.5 percent during the period, followed by auto parts maker Duckyang Industrial Co. with 271.5 percent, Samsung Biologics Co, with 245.2 percent and SK hynix with 174.7 percent, according to the Leaders Index.