South Korea's April 1-20 exports sink as pandemic wrecks global demand

Rows of Hyundai Motor cars parked for shipping in the southeastern port of Ulsan, Korea on Feb 6, 2020.
Rows of Hyundai Motor cars parked for shipping in the southeastern port of Ulsan, Korea on Feb 6, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korean exports for the first 20 days of April plunged 26.9 per cent from a year earlier, sharply reversing 9.3 per cent growth in the March 1-20 period, as the coronavirus crisis paralysed global supply chains and demand.

Imports also dropped 18.6 per cent, compared to a 4.0 per cent rise in the previous month, according to Korea Customs Service data on Tuesday (April 21).

By products, overseas sales of semiconductors tumbled 14.9 per cent, while those of petrochemical products, car components and wireless devices plummeted 53.5 per cent, 49.8 per cent and 30.7 per cent, respectively.

By destination, shipments to China fell 17.0 per cent, while those to the United States and the European Union also slumped 17.5 per cent and 32.6 per cent, respectively.