* S.Korea Nov exports +0.2 pct y/y (vs +2.8 pct forecast)
* Exports to ASEAN fall most in 4 years
* Exports to China, U.S., EU all slow
By Choonsik Yoo
SEOUL, Dec 1 Exports by industrial powerhouse
South Korea showed virtually no growth last month, underlining a
still fragile global economy squeezed by a depressed Europe as
growth slows in emerging markets.
Overseas shipments by the world's seventh-largest exporter
rose just 0.2 percent in November from a year earlier in dollar
value, government data showed on Sunday, smaller than a median
gain of 2.8 percent tipped in a Reuters survey of 13 analysts.
Growth of sales to China, the United States and the European
Union all slowed whereas exports to Southeast Asia's 10-nation
ASEAN bloc posted the worst decline since the 2008-2009 global
financial crisis, the data showed.
"Some of the big economies, such as the United States, are
recovering, but are not there yet to spur corporate investment
for more production and boost global trade much," said Park
Sang-hyun, economist at HI Investment & Securities in Seoul.
Exports to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) dropped 11.2 percent in November from a year earlier,
the worst since August 2009, with countries like Indonesia
quickly running out of steam, the data showed.
ASEAN takes 18 percent of South Korea's total exports,
compared with 27 percent by China and 10 percent for the United
States. South Korea is Asia's fourth-largest economy and home to
the world's biggest suppliers of smartphones and ships.
"Global trade will likely remain weak, at least through the
first two quarters of next year, because any recovery in the big
economies will mostly be led by consumption of small items
instead of machinery and investment goods," Park said.
World Trade Organisation (WTO) data shows imports by the
United States fell 0.7 percent for the January-September period
from a year earlier, while the European Union countries imported
4.1 percent less from outside the bloc. Chinese imports grew 7.3
Trade ministry data showed South Korea's imports fell 0.6
percent in November on an annual basis, weaker than even the
worst forecasts from the Reuters survey and underscoring
depressed domestic demand.
Robust exports and imports performance in October, up 7.2
percent and 5.2 percent on the year, respectively, had stirred
hopes global demand was recovering ground, thanks to the U.S.
recovery and stabilising confidence in Europe.
South Korea's economic growth is expected to pick up to 2.8
percent this year from 2.0 percent last year and further to 3.8
percent next year, the central bank has forecast.