South Korea’s exports grew for a 13th straight month in November despite challenges from persistent COVID-19 cases and global supply-chain disruptions.
Overseas shipments expanded 32.1% from a year earlier to a record $60.44 billion, following October’s revised 24.1% increase, according to preliminary data released by the trade ministry on Wednesday.
The exports growth exceeded the median forecast of seven economists polled by The Wall Street Journal for a 27.5% rise.
Exports of semiconductors, petrochemicals, machinery, steel and computers grew strongly, while shipments of vehicles and auto parts fell in November. Exports to all major markets including the U.S., the European Union and China expanded.
Imports jumped 43.6% to $57.36 billion after a revised 37.7% rise in October, resulting in a trade surplus of $3.09 billion.
The median forecast in the poll was for a 39.3% increase in imports and a $2.27 billion surplus for November.
South Korea’s export-driven economy is forecast by the central bank to expand 4.0% this year.