South Korea March exports up for sixth month on chip sales


SEOUL: Strong demand for South Korean chips helped Asia's fourth-largest economy post export growth for the sixth consecutive month in March, although the pace was slower than expected, pointing to a continued recovery in the global economy.
Exports rose 3.1% to $56.56 billion from the same period a year earlier, missing the 5.2% gain reported in a Reuters survey of economists.
That was up 4.8% from a month earlier, signaling improving global economic momentum as South Korea's dominance in semiconductors and other high-tech goods makes the country a barometer for global demand.
Imports in March fell 12.3% from the same month a year earlier to $52.28 billion, wider than the 8.1% decline seen in the survey, but slightly less than the 13.1% decline in February.
Chip sales overseas rose for the fifth consecutive month, rising 35.7% and recording the best performance by value in two years. Ministry of Trade Data shown. As the world's two largest manufacturers, rising demand for artificial intelligence-related memory is boosting semiconductor sales memory chips , Samsung Electronics And SK Hynix – Chip demand marked recovery for the coming year.
Exports of computers and mobile communications equipment increased by 24.5% and 5.5%, respectively, while exports of cars declined by 5%.
By destination, exports to China rose 0.4% from a year earlier and exports to the United States rose 11.6%.
However, separate data released on Monday showed manufacturing activity remained weak in March, as weak domestic demand offset strong foreign sales.
The purchasing managers' index stood at 49.8 in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, down from 50.7 in February, the data showed.
Firms surveyed for the index noted “halting production and sales in the sluggish domestic economy” due to high borrowing costs.

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