SEOUL, Oct. 21 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korean exports to China fell 9 percent on year last month, marking the 15th straight month of decline, data showed Friday, spawning worries that the country’s overseas shipments to the neighboring country may not recover any time soon.
Shipments to China stood at US$10.96 billion in September, compared with $12.04 billion for the same month last year, according to the data from the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).
China, grappling with slow growth, is South Korea’s biggest export destination, and the neighboring country is seeking to boost demand for its own products on its soil, which reduces demand for South Korean goods.
Due to sluggish exports, China’s portion in South Korea’s exports dropped to 24.7 percent this year, from last year’s 26 percent.
By item, exports of semiconductors dropped 13.4 percent on-year to reach $2.27 billion in September, with shipments of flat panels plunging 5 percent to $1.74 billion over the cited period. In particular, exports of telecommunication equipment sank 45 percent on-year last month to $657 million, the data showed.
“China has raised the competitiveness of flat panels, home appliance and telecommunication equipment through research and development,” said Moon Byong-gi, a researcher at the KITA. “South Korea needs to upgrade its own key export items.”
Meanwhile, South Korea’s exports to Vietnam have more than doubled over the past five years, making it the world’s third-largest importer of South Korean products, as more South Korean firms relocated their output facilities to the Southeast Asian country. Also, Vietnam’s economy is posting a sharp growth.
In 2015, the country’s outbound shipments to Vietnam came to $27.8 billion, spiking 24.1 percent from $22.4 billion the previous year, according to the KITA.
In September alone, shipment to Vietnam surged 16.9 percent on-year to reach $2.79 billion, the data showed.