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South Korea’s exports expand for 12th straight month in October

South Korea’s exports expanded for a 12th consecutive month in October on solid demand for semiconductors and other goods, despite challenges from global supply-chain disruptions.

Overseas shipments grew 24.0% from a year earlier to $55.55 billion, following September’s 16.7% increase, according to preliminary data released by the trade ministry on Monday.

The median forecast of five economists polled by The Wall Street Journal was for a 27.9% rise in exports for October.

Demand for memory chips, machinery, petrochemical products and steel remained strong, while automotive-chip shortages stifled the shipments of vehicles. Exports to all major markets expanded.

Imports jumped 37.8% to $53.86 billion after a 31.0% rise in September, resulting in a trade surplus of $1.69 billion.

The median forecast in the poll was for a 41.0% increase in imports and a $2.10 billion surplus for October.

South Korea’s export-driven economy is forecast by the central bank to expand 4.0% this year.

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