SEJONG, Feb. 1 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s exports rose 11.2 percent in January from a year earlier on brisk overseas sales of semiconductors and petrochemicals, the government said Wednesday.
Outbound shipments came to US$40.3 billion last month, up from $36.2 billion tallied a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
It is the first time since January 2013 that the nation’s exports have posted double-digit growth. Also for the first time in two years and nine months, the monthly export volume expanded for three months in a row.
The upturn is driven by a rise in exports of key industrial goods, such as semiconductors and petrochemicals, the ministry said.
Exports of semiconductors hit an all-time high of $6.41 billion in January, while overseas sales of petrochemicals came to $3.52 billion, the biggest since December 2014.
By region, South Korea’s exports to China climbed 13.5 percent on-year last month, marking the first double-digit growth in 41 months.
Imports expanded 18.6 percent on-year to $37.1 billion in January.
January’s trade surplus came to $3.2 billion, marking the 60th consecutive month of a surplus.