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South Korea's exports fall most since 2009 in August

Shipping freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe jumped 29 per cent to US$763 per 20-foot container (TEU) this week data from the Shanghai Shipping Exchange showed.

[SEOUL] South Korea's exports tumbled in August by the most since 2009, as weaker overseas demand hit Asia's fourth-largest economy.

Overseas shipments fell 14.7 per cent from a year earlier, an eighth straight monthly decline, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said on Tuesday. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 5.9 per cent drop.

South Korea generates about half of its gross domestic product from exports and is the world's biggest exporter to China. The nation is one of the most exposed to depreciation in the yuan, and is also facing increasing competition from Chinese companies that are moving up the value-added chain, according to the Institute of International Finance last week.

"Korea's exports are unlikely to post growth this year," Park Sang Hyun, a Seoul-based economist for HI Investment & Securities Co, said before the release. "Uncertainties in emerging economies including China have led to declines in global import demand." The nation's imports fell 18.3 per cent, leaving a trade surplus of US$4.35 billion, according to the ministry.


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