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[SEOUL] Exports in South Korea are expected to continue falling for the time being due to negative impacts from low global oil prices, the country's trade ministry said on Wednesday. "We expect exports to be sluggish as consistently low oil prices will result in a large decline in oil-related product exports while other exports will not perform well enough to cover that loss," the ministry said in a statement.
The statement added that positive factors from low oil prices will influence the local economy later on, as there is a time gap for an anticipated increase in global demand to take effect.
Imports will also fall at a "considerable pace" due to dropping commodity prices, the ministry said. It did not give a timeframe for the expected declines in exports and imports.
The ministry expects total trade value in 2015 to top US$1 trillion but to be less than last year's US$1.1 trillion.
Exports have fallen throughout this year, with shipments in March dropping the most in two years due to weak global demand and heightened competition.
The Bank of Korea, expecting weak growth to continue, in March lowered interest rates to a record-low 1.75 per cent and early this month slashed its economic forecasts - with growth this year now seen at 3.1 per cent rather than 3.4 per cent.