SEOUL, Oct 1 (Reuters) - South Korea's exports grew at
the slowest pace in nearly two years in September as softening
global demand piles pressure on the trade-dependent economy.
Overseas shipment grew 2.8% in September, missing the 2.9%
tipped in a Reuters poll of analysts and the slowest expansion
since October 2020.
Asia's fourth-largest economy has seen export growth decline
to the single digits since June as slowdowns in the United
States, Europe and China put the brakes on demand for Korean
Shipment data out of Korea provides an early health
check on global trade as its manufacturers of chips to cars
import massive amounts of raw materials and components and
straddle a wide swathe of the world supply chain.
With growing fears of a global recession, Asia's exports
are expected to weaken further in coming months.
"Korean exports will suffer further from weaker external
demand and base effects, and relatively stronger import growth
will widen the trade deficit further," said Yu-mi Kim, an
analyst at Kiwoom Securities.
Imports jumped 18.6%, faring better than 16.4% expansion
expected in the survey but slowing from a 28.2% gain in August.
That brought the trade balance to a $3.77 billion deficit,
marking a sixth consecutive month in red.
Exports of semiconductors declined 5.7% in September from a
year earlier, while steel exports dropped 21.1%. Auto exports,
however, were up 34.7%.
By destination, shipments to the United States gained 16.0%,
but those to China and the European Union were down 6.5%, and
(Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Editing by Sandra Maler)