SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s export volumes of most petrochemicals in October declined on a year-on-year basis, with shipments of paraxylene (PX) down 8.4% at 449,080 tonnes, industry data showed on Monday.
Shipments of toluene were down by 32.9% year on year at 21,690 tonnes, according to the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).
By value, South Korea’s petrochemical exports in October increased by 6.1% year on year to $3.1bn “on higher prices and reduced global supply, especially from the US and China”, according to official data.
The sector posted an annual export growth for the 13th straight month in October, South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) said in early November.
South Korea’s automobile exports in October declined by 12.8% year on year to $2.9bn because of slower sales in North America and fewer working days in the month, but shipments to Europe, Australia and southeast Asia continued to grow, according to MOTIE.
The country’s overall exports in October rose by 7.1% year on year to $45.0bn, while imports were 7.5% higher at $37.7bn, the ministry said.
“The Ministry projects a favourable trade environment to continue,” MOTIE said.
“The Ministry, however, expects growing uncertainties amid rising protectionism; geopolitical risks in the Korean peninsula; and shifts in monetary policies of the US including the reduction of the US Federal Reserve’s balance sheet as well as potential interest rate hikes,” it said.
MOTIE also noted that there will be two fewer working days in November and December, compared to the same period in 2016.
Picture: Busan port in South Korea. (Source: KPA/Zuma/REX/Shutterstock)
Interactive by Nurluqman Suratman