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According to Yonhap News,
(SEOUL=Yonhap News) South Korea's exports in the first quarter grew 10.1 percent from a year earlier, thanks to brisk sales of semiconductors, petrochemical products and computers, government data showed Thursday.
A total of $145.3 billion worth of goods was shipped abroad in the January-March period, rising for the sixth consecutive quarter, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.
Sales of memory chips and computers jumped more than 40 percent over the period, while those of general machinery and petrochemicals advanced 9.3 percent and 15.1 percent on-year, respectively, the ministry said.
Sales of semiconductors reached $29.49 billion in the first three months of the year on strong global demand, to mark an all-time quarterly record. Petrochemical products also maintained an upward trend, rising for six quarters in a row.
In contrast, exports of automobiles and auto parts fell 4.4 percent and 11.9 percent, respectively, due to tepid demand in the North American market and intensifying competition from rivals. Sales of displays and wireless communication equipment slipped 15.5 percent and 19.1 percent, respectively.
Exports to China, Japan, the European Union and Vietnam increased over 10 percent to offset declines in the United States, Middle East and India, the ministry said.
The government earlier said a recovery in the global economy and rising oil prices are expected to bode well for exports by Asia's fourth-largest economy, but trade protectionism, coupled with deepening instability in the global financial market, could add to uncertainties going forward.
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Source: Yonhap News (May 24, 2018)