S Korean exports drop 33% in January

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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.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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