SEJONG, April 21 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s exports sank 27 percent on year in the first 20 days of April amid the shock from the coronavirus pandemic, customs data showed Tuesday.
The nation’s outbound shipments dropped 26.9 percent in the April 1-20 period to US$21.7 billion, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.
The daily average exports during the 20-day period also slipped 16.8 percent on-year.
The data came amid growing concerns that the coronavirus pandemic is denting exports by Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
The new coronavirus has disrupted trade and halted production around the globe, with a rising number of countries fully shutting down their borders.
By segment, exports of memory chips, a key item, fell 14.9 percent, and those of automobiles declined 28.5 percent over the 20-day period from a year earlier.’
By country, shipments to China dropped 17 percent on-year, while shipments to the United States sank 17.5 percent.
Shipments to the European Union and Vietnam plunged 32.6 percent and 39.5 percent, respectively.
South Korea’s imports in the 20-day period also suffered, dropping 18.6 percent to $25.1 billion, according to the data.
In March, the country’s exports fell 0.2 percent in March from a year earlier.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that South Korea’s economy will shrink 1.2 percent this year as the global economy is expected to have its worst year since the Great Depression of the 1930s over the pandemic.
The world economy is expected to contract 3 percent this year, the IMF said.