S. Korea's exports drop by 5.4% to $512.8 billion in 2020
South Korea posted exports worth $512.8 billion in 2020, representing a 5.4 percent on-year plunge amid the pandemic, based on data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy.
According to Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo, it is notable that non-memory chips, OLED, eco-friendly automobiles, and COVID-19 test kits and posted record-high performances for the year.
Exports of chips rose by 5.6 percent to reach $99.1 billion, marking the second-highest after $126.7 billion in 2018.
Outbound shipments of electronics jumped 0.7 percent on-year in 2020, rebounding from the 3.6 percent decrease posted in 2019.
However, exports of displays plunged 12.2 percent due to the competition from Chinese rivals.
Car exports also suffered in 2020, decreasing 13.1 percent on-year due to lockdowns and social distancing schemes.
The year saw the emergence of bio-health products, including COVID-19 test kits, as among the top 10 export segments.
Imports moved down 7.2 percent on-year to $467.2 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $45.6 billion in 2020,
It marked the 12th consecutive year the country has posted a surplus.
Expected to create uncertainties for South Korean exporters in 2021 are the pandemic, growing protectionism around the globe, and the launch of the new US administration.
Trade ministry utilizing global trade frameworks, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), to revitalize its exports.
South Korea is awaiting the official launch of the RCEP, which covers its dialogue partners the ASEAN, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.