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S. Korean exports to China perk up in March

According to Yonhap News,

SEOUL, March 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korean exports to China have been picking up in March as the new coronavirus retreats in the neighboring country, data showed Tuesday.

Daily exports to the world's second-largest economy averaged US$436 million during the first 10 days of this month, up 20.8 percent from the same period in February, according to the data from the government and industry sources.

Yet the daily average was down 8.2 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Daily exports to China soared to $530 million in the fourth week of January before plunging to $348 million in the first week of February amid the rapid spread of COVID-19 there.

A government official said a downtrend in exports to China appears to have turned a corner in light of improved figures since mid-February.

The pickup in shipments to China is good news for South Korea's overseas shipments down the road. China is South Korea's top export market, accounting for 25.1 percent of its total overseas shipments last year.

The global outbreak of the novel coronavirus has emerged as a big drag on the export-dependent South Korean economy.

Officials and industry sources also said South Korean auto assembly lines are operating normally as they are receiving wiring harnesses, a key auto component, from Chinese suppliers on time.

Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp. and other automakers in South Korea had been grappling with disrupted production due to a shortage of the harnesses sparked by the coronavirus outbreak in China.

The average capacity utilization rate of the five automakers has returned to a normal level from roughly 57 percent in February, according to the sources.

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Source: Yonhap News (Mar. 17 , 2020)

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