South Korea’s August exports hurt by drilling rig delays

Low oil prices put a dent in South Korea’s exports numbers for August 2015, but the country still ended the month with a trade surplus.

The country’s ministry of trade industry and energy on Tuesday said that in August, exports showed their biggest monthly decline this year due to the drop in oil prices, delays in the delivery of drillships, and the explosions at the Port of Tianjin, China.

South Korea is a home to world’s largest drilling rig builders such as Samsung, Daewoo and Hyundai.

The downward trend in oil prices is expected to continue in September, the ministry said. This will in turn lead to a decrease in exports of ships and oil-related products.

The low oil prices have put pressure on the drilling companies, which now seek to delay rig deliveries due to the lack of contract opportunities at the current market environment.

However, while lacking in rig deliveries, the trade ministry said that shipments of semiconductors and mobile telecom equipment along with new items such as OLEDs and cosmetics are expected to continue showing robust growth.

Korea’s exports in August fell 14.7 percent to $39.3 billion and imports decreased 18.3 percent to $35.0 billion in August from a year earlier, resulting in a trade surplus, for the 43rd consecutive month, of $4.3 billion.

Exports to Vietnam sharply increased from a year earlier, but those to China decreased as a result of the explosions at the Port of Tianjin and decreased demand for imports.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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