The scale of the crisis in Asian economies becomes clearer, month by month.
Exports account for nearly half of S Korea’s GDP. In January, these dropped 33%. Of course, January is always a slow month, due to the Lunar New Year, but these figures followed earlier falls of 19% in November and 18% in December.
S Korea’s chemical industry is heavily dependent on exports to China, from where they are manufactured into finished goods for the West. With China slowing fast, and domestic GDP dropping 5.6% in Q4, survival is definitely the key priority for the industry in 2009.