Bloomberg tells me that South Korea is the first major exporter to publish trade data – which they did today. In the first 20 days of September they saw imports fall by 11.1 per cent and exports tumble 21.8 per cent, the biggest monthly fall since September 2009. A battle with Japan on trade deals accelerated an existing trend, with exports to that country falling 13.5 per cent and imports from Japan off 16.6 per cent. Meanwhile other countries have seen even bigger falls, South Korean exports to the EU down by 12.9 per cent, to the US off 20.7 per cent and to China a whopping 29.8 per cent. Bearing the brunt of the contraction were technology chip manufacturers whose overseas sales fell by 39.8 per cent. Ouch!
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