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Export Growth To China Continues To Weaken


South Korea's first 20-days trade data for October still points to a softening external demand backdrop. Exports for the first 20-days of the month were -5.5% y/y, a sightly improvement on last month's -8.7%. However, average daily exports were -9% lower in y/y terms. Note exports for the full month of September were +2.7% y/y.

  • The detail showed on-going headwinds in the chips sector, -12.8% y/y, while exports to China fell -16.3% y/y, versus -14.0% in September (first 20 days). The chart below plots y/y exports to China & total, for the first 20-days of the month.
  • Export momentum to the US held up better, +6.3% y/y, but weakened to Japan -16.1%, from -8.3% last month.

Fig 1: South Korea Export Growth - Total & China, y/y (First 20 Days Of The Month)

Source: MNI - Market News/Bloomberg

  • Import momentum was better, +1.9%, but still slowed from last month (+6.0% y/y). The trade deficit came in at just under $5bn, a slight widening compared to September (first 20 days).
  • The full month figures for the trade deficit should be slightly better (for September as a whole it was -$3.8bn), as that tends to be the trend. We appear to be away from worst levels in terms of the deficit, from mid this year, but a rapid turnaround/shift back to surplus is not evident.

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