SEOUL:

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

South Korean ex­ports ex­tended their los­ing streak to a sev­enth straight month in July, point­ing to lit­tle respite in sight for Asia's trade-re­liant economies as Chi­nese de­mand cools and global com­mod­ity prices take a fresh tum­ble.

Ex­ports fell 3.3 per cent on-year to $46.61 bil­lion (Dh171.2 bil­lion) in July while im­ports slumped 15.3 per cent to $38.85 bil­lion, gen­er­at­ing a trade sur­plus of $7.76 bil­lion in July, trade min­istry data showed. It was slightly bet­ter than a me­dian 5 per cent drop forecast in a Reuters sur­vey but still worse than a 2.4 per cent fall in June. Ship­ments to China and the Euro­pean Union fell and growth tailed off in ex­ports to the United States.

The trade min­istry said in a state­ment that ex­ports in vol­ume terms rose sharply in July for a sec­ond straight month over a year ear­lier in a rare bright sign, but an­a­lysts said the global en­vi­ron­ment was still get­ting worse. "China is go­ing through a tur­bu­lent pe­riod both on the fi­nan­cial mar­kets and in eco­nomic growth, and the re­cent fall in com­modi­ties prices will cut de­mand from com­modi­ties-rich coun­tries," said Park Sang-hyun, chief economist at HI In­vest­ment & Se­cu­ri­ties. An of­fi­cial sur­vey in China on Satur­day showed growth in its vast man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor un­ex­pect­edly stalled in July as firms' do­mes­tic and ex­port or­ders weak­ened. China is South Korea's big­gest ex­port mar­ket, tak­ing around onequar­ter of its ship­ments abroad.

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