South Korea’s exports down for 7th month on falling chip demand

South Korea’s exports fell for the seventh consecutive month in April due mainly to sagging global demand for semiconductors amid an economic slowdown, the industry ministry said on Monday. Outbound shipments fell 14.2 per cent on-year to $49.6 billion last month, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The decline came as exports of semiconductors, the country’s key export item, sank 41 percent on-year on falling demand and a drop in chip prices, reports Yonhap news agency. Fewer working days and a high base effect were also behind the fall in exports last month, as exports hit the largest figure of $57.8 billion for any April last year. Exports have logged an on-year fall since October last year amid aggressive monetary tightening by major economies to curb inflation and an economic slowdown. It is also the first time since 2020 that exports have declined for seven months in a row. Imports fell 13.3 percent on-year to $52.2 billion in April, as the country’s energy imports went down 25.8 percent on-year, the ministry said. South Korea depends on imports for most of its energy needs. Accordingly, the country suffered a trade deficit of $2.6 billion last month. In detail, semiconductor exports came to $6.38 billion in April, an on-year drop from $10.78 billion. The country’s chip exports have logged an on-year decline since August last year. Global sales of South Korean display items also slid 29.3 percent to $1.23 billion, and those of bio-health items decreased 18.3 percent to $1.03 billion in April.