South Korea’s chip-led export growth to quicken in April: Reuters poll By Reuters

By Jihoon Lee

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s exports are expected to have risen at a faster pace in April, extending gains for a seventh straight month on strong chip sales, a Reuters poll showed on Monday.

Exports out of Asia’s fourth-largest economy are forecast to have increased 13.7% in April from a year earlier, a median estimate of 15 economists showed in the survey.

That is sharply up from a 3.1% rise in March, which was the slowest in the current sequence of annual gains that started in October.

South Korea is the first major exporting economy to report monthly trade figures each month, providing an early glimpse into the state of global demand.

“Exports are expected to rise by a double-digit percentage for the first time in three months as chip sales continue to be robust, with exports of home appliances and computers also improving,” said Ha Keon-hyeong, economist, Shinhan Securities.

In the first 20 days of this month, exports rose 11.1%, led by a 43.0% jump in shipments of semiconductors, which have been rising since November.

The South Korean economy grew at the fastest pace in more than two years in the first quarter, data showed last week, beating all estimates on the back of a pick-up in domestic consumption and robust exports.

By destination, exports to the United States are set to remain the main driver in April, while demand in China has started to recover, economists said.

“China-bound exports are expected to fully enter positive territory from this month,” said Chun Kyu-yeon, economist, Hana Securities.

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The poll also forecast imports to have risen 6.2% in April from a year earlier, after a drop of 12.3% in March, due to a rise in oil prices. That would mark the first annual increase since February 2023.

All in all, the country’s trade balance is expected to remain in the black for the 11th straight month, with the median estimate at a surplus of $2.41 billion, compared with a surplus of $4.29 billion in March.

South Korea is scheduled to report trade figures for April on Wednesday, May 1, at 9 a.m. (0000 GMT).

SOURCE: – Economic Indicators News   (go to source)
AUTHOR: Reuters
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