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(LEAD) July exports set fresh high on chips, autos

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By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Aug. 1 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s exports jumped 29.6 percent on-year in July to a record high, extending their gains to a ninth consecutive month as the global economy maintained a recovery, data showed Sunday.

Outbound shipments came to US$55.4 billion last month on strong auto and chip sales, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The monthly export volume marked the highest level since South Korea started compiling related data in 1956. The country’s exports over the first seven months of 2021 came to $358.7 billion, also setting a fresh high.

Imports climbed 38.2 percent to $53.6 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $1.76. It marked the 15th consecutive month for the country to post a trade surplus.

The July exports came in line with what the market had been expecting.

According to a poll by Yonhap Infomax, the financial arm of Yonhap News Agency, the country’s July exports were expected to have risen 29.4 percent on-year.

Overseas sales of chips, the mainstay export product of Asia’s No. 4 economy, shot up 39.6 percent over the period to reach $11 billion.

Exports of automobiles also gathered ground, rising 26.4 percent on-year in July to hit $4.1 billion, the data showed.

Other major winners included the petrochemical industry, whose outbound shipments moved up nearly 60 percent to $4.7 billion.

Among emerging industries, exports of rechargeable batteries increased more than 30 percent on-year to reach $790 million.

The ministry said South Korea’s exports are anticipated to maintain their growth down the road, citing the recovery of global trade despite the virus pandemic.

Last week, the central bank said South Korea’s economy grew 0.7 percent on-quarter in the April-June period, after a 1.7 percent expansion in the first quarter.

The bank said South Korea is also on track for a 4 percent expansion this year on the back of the strong recovery of domestic demand and robust exports.

colin@yna.co.kr
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