SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s exports were expected to rise for a 10th straight month in August, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday, as global demand for tech products remained robust although renegotiation of a key trade pact with the United States may add to future risk.
The median forecast of the 12 analysts polled was for exports to rise 14.3 percent from a year ago, slowing from 19.5 percent growth in July. Import growth was seen slowing to 11.4 percent after rising 14.5 percent in July.
“Exports to the United States probably improved, helping strong exports in the IT sector to continue, but renegotiation of the free trade agreement may hurt shipments going there in the future,” said Kim Doo-un, an economist at Hana Financial Investment.
South Korea and the United States held a one-day video conference last week to discuss how to move forward in talks on the trade pact, but failed to reach a decision.
July exports to China and the United States rose 6.6 percent and 7 percent respectively versus a year ago. China is South Korea’s biggest trade partner.
Shipments to the European Union rose by 10.2 percent.
The same poll found that year-on-year inflation for August was expected to be 2.2 percent, unchanged from July.
Respondents said a decline in global oil prices was offset by rising rises for agricultural products caused by heavy rain, keeping inflation unchanged.
Factory output was forecast to increase 0.5 percent on-month in July after shedding 0.2 percent in June. July’s more bullish outlook was attributed to robust exports of semiconductors, petroleum products, and possibly cars as well.
The industrial output data is due on Thursday, with the trade and inflation indicators to be published on Friday.
Reporting by Dahee Kim; Additional reporting by Heekyong Yang, Yuna Park, Heajin Choi; Editing by Eric Meijer