South Korea’s exports are set to post double-digit gains in June, offering more evidence the global economic recovery is gathering pace.
Exports rose 29.5% in the first 20 days of the month from a year earlier, the customs office reported Monday. Adjusted for calendar effects, average daily shipments increased 33.7% in the period, which had half a business day less compared with last year.
As vaccinations speed up and lockdowns ease across the world, Korea has seen overseas demand grow beyond memory chips to cars, smartphones and other consumer goods. While the gains were less than the 45.6% jump for the full month of May, the moderation may be largely due to a less favorable base effect while exports can speed up during the remaining days of a month.
Korea’s trade data offer a timely assessment on the health of global commerce as its manufacturers are positioned widely across supply chains. Export growth may ease going forward if consumers in major economies pivot spending to services from goods as virus restrictions ease.
The export jump shows Korea’s recovery is well on track, and is likely to bolster views that the Bank of Korea is gearing up for an earlier rate hike than most developed peers. In a report last week, the BOK said U.S. fiscal stimulus, rising global ship sales, and pent-up demand from overseas consumers are likely to buoy exports for the rest of the year.
Exports to China, South Korea’s largest overseas market, rose 7.9% between June 1-20, compared with a year earlier. Overall semiconductor shipments increased 28.5%.
Exports to the U.S. rose 41.3%, while shipments to the European Union jumped 48.8% and those to Japan increased 33%.
Shipments of cars rose 62.2%, while oil products increased 58.6%. Sales of wireless communications devices rose 15.8%. Ship exports fell 27.7%.
South Korea’s overall imports rose 29.1% in the first 20 days of June.