Korea’s early exports have grown into a symbol of resilient global trade

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By Sam Kim

(Bloomberg) –

Preliminary trade data from South Korea shows that exports are booming in May as the global economy adjusts to the outcome of the war in Ukraine and China is slowly beginning to bring back the virus lockdown.

Exports rose 24.1% in the first 20 days of the month compared to a year earlier, the customs office said in a statement on Monday. Overall imports increased by 37.8%.

There were two extra business days this month, a factor that helped increase the numbers. Considering the difference in working days, according to the release, the average daily shipment increased by 7.6%.

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Exports are based on the South Korean economy and their performance for the first 20 days of a month is considered the primary indicator of global demand. The nation ships everything from cars to displays to semiconductors, and world trade has been disrupted by high energy and commodity prices since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

The problem for South Korean exporters is exacerbated when China locks down some of its major cities, disrupting maritime transport and industrial operations.

Korean policymakers are worried that inflation will eat up exporters and hurt the currency. The country could post another trade deficit this month due to high imports of fuel and spare parts that export goods.

© 2022 Bloomberg LP


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