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According to Yonhap News,
(SEOUL=Yonhap News) Output and exports of South Korea's state industrial complexes rose in the first half of the year from the pre-pandemic period, but their employment shrank, data showed Wednesday.
Combined production of the 44 industrial parks came to 258 trillion won (US$216 billion) in the January-June period, up 6.6 percent from the same period in 2019, months before the COVID-19 outbreak hit the country, according to an analysis by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI).
Their total exports also swelled 10.7 percent to $86.04 billion over the cited period.
In the first half of last year, those industrial complexes' output and exports tumbled from a year earlier in the wake of the new coronavirus outbreak.
The FKI, the lobby for South Korea's family-controlled conglomerates, attributed the V-shaped recovery in their output to a quick rebound in demand for petrochemical and machinery products.
Petrochemical and machinery companies account for nearly half of the industrial complexes' production.
In addition, the capacity utilization rate of those industrial parks bounced back at a rapid pace over the two-year period to hit a near four-year high.
Their operating rate, which plumbed an all-time low of 72.3 percent in the second quarter of 2020, soared to 82.2 percent in the April-June period of this year, the highest mark since the first quarter of 2017.
Yet, the industrial complexes' employment declined, with their combined workforce decreasing by about 27,000 in the second quarter of 2021 from two years earlier.
Going forward, the FKI said, there is a high possibility that output and exports of those state industrial complexes could weaken due to changes in global regulations related to carbon neutrality.
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Source: Yonhap News (October 13, 2021)