South Korea March exports up for sixth month on chip sales – Times of India

by The Technical Blogs


SEOUL: Robust demand for South Korean chips helped Asia’s fourth-largest economy post export growth for a sixth consecutive month in March, albeit at a pace slightly slower than expected, pointing to continued recovery in the global economy.
Exports rose 3.1% from the same period a year prior to $56.56 billion, missing a gain of 5.2% tipped in a Reuters poll of economists.
That followed a 4.8% increase a month earlier, hinting at recovery in global economic momentum as South Korea’s dominance in semiconductors and other high-tech goods makes the country a barometer for global demand.
Imports declined 12.3% in March from the same month a year earlier to $52.28 billion, deeper than a 8.1% fall seen in the poll but easing slightly from a 13.1% drop in February.
Overseas sales of chips grew for a fifth successive month, rising 35.7% and logging the best performance by value in two years, trade ministry data showed. Increasing demand for artificial intelligence-related memory is driving semiconductor sales, as the world’s two biggest makers of memory chipsSamsung Electronics and SK Hynix – flagged improving chip demand for the year ahead.
Exports of computers and mobile communication devices increased 24.5% and 5.5% respectively, while that for cars declined 5%.
By destination, exports to China rose 0.4% from a year earlier and those to the United States increased 11.6%.
Separate data released on Monday however showed weaker manufacturing activity in March as slowing domestic demand offset robust overseas sales.
The purchasing managers index stood at 49.8 in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, from 50.7 in February, the data showed.
Firms surveyed for the index mentioned “a muted domestic economy holding back production and sales” due to high borrowing costs.


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