S Korea 2023 exports to post first fall in three years – exporter group

SEOUL : South Korea’s exports in 2023 are expected to post their first fall since 2020, on weakening IT demand, falling oil prices and a delay in global economic recovery, an association of domestic exporters said on Monday.

South Korea’s exports are expected to fall 4.0 per cent in 2023, after rising 7.1 per cent in 2022 to a record amount of $690 billion, or likely the world’s sixth-largest, the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) said in a report on the trade outlook.

That would be the first annual fall since 2020 when shipments out of Asia’s fourth-largest economy shrank 5.5 per cent, as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted global supply chains.

“The global economy’s unexpected variables of COVID-19 and the Ukraine crisis are expected to ease next year, at least gradually,” KITA said.

“However, both exports and imports will decline on structurally continuing U.S.-China conflicts and the accumulated impact from external conditions that worsened in the last two years.”

Meanwhile, KITA expected imports to shrink at a faster pace of 8.0 per cent in 2023, after a likely 19.5 per cent jump in 2022, affected by a gradual fall in oil prices.

As a result, the annual trade deficit will narrow to $13.8 billion next year, from an expected $45.0 billion shortfall for the whole of 2022, according to the association.

Source: CNA

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