• S. Korea's Exports Sink 23.7 Pct In May As Coronavirus Continues To Hit Supply Chains

Photo: Yonhap News
Photo: Yonhap News
South Korea's exports sank 23.7 percent in May as the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic continued to disrupt the global supply chain with lockdowns and social distancing.

According to data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the country's outbound shipments came to 34.8 billion dollars last month, compared with 45.7 billion dollars posted a year earlier.

Imports also fell 21.1 percent on-year to 34.4 billion dollars, resulting in a trade surplus of 440 million dollars, snapping a 98-month streak of having more exports than imports.

The decline was roughly in line with market expectations, casting an even longer shadow on South Korea's overall economy.

Last week, the Bank of Korea projected the domestic economy to shrink by 0.2 percent on-year this year if the COVID-19 pandemic reaches its peak during the second quarter, but warned it could contract as much as 1.8 percent if new virus cases do not ease by the third quarter.

The Korean economy grew 2 percent in 2019, marking the slowest expansion since 2009, when it increased 0.8 percent in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

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