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Trade turmoil hits South Korean semiconductor export market

22 May 2019 15:37 reported by John

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South Korea was the latest country to be affected by the trade turmoil. The Korean Won has so far been Asia's worst-performing currency this year, losing 6.6%. On the other hand, South Korean chip exports have also experienced a slump.

Preliminary data released earlier in the day showed South Korean exports shrank further in May, hurt by chip exports.

In the first 20 days of May, South Korean exports fell by 11.7% from a year earlier. Chip exports fell by 33%, while South Korean exported to China fell by 15.9%.

South Korea, Asia's fourth-largest economy, is highly dependent on exports of high-tech electronic components, with semiconductors accounting for about one-fifth of exports, with China a big buyer.

According to an analysis by Citi Group, China is a major buyer of Asian semiconductor exporters. In 2017, China purchased 51% of Asian semiconductor exporters' goods. Besides, China and Hong Kong accounted for 69% of total chip shipments from South Korea.

Moreover, the recent ban on Huawei could also threaten demand in the semiconductor industry.

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