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[SEOUL] South Korean exports are likely to fall sharply in the current quarter, a government-run bank specialising in trade financing said on Wednesday, extending a year-long decline that has dragged on growth in Asia's fourth-largest economy.
A report by the research arm of the Export-Import Bank of Korea forecast that South Korea's exports would fall by around 9 per cent during the October-December period from a year ago, after a 9.5 per cent decline in the third quarter.
Shipments by the world's seventh-largest exporting country and a bellwether for global demand have collapsed this year, mainly as China's giant economy cools to the slowest pace in decades and as Europe struggles to lift-off.
In the September quarter, South Korean exports posted their worst annual loss in six years and marked the fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year deterioration in shipments, separate data showed earlier.
The ex-im bank's overseas economic research institute said the forecasts were based on its leading exports indicator, which fell 6.2 per cent this quarter from a year earlier, but rose 3.7 per cent from the September quarter.