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KOREA REPORT - FEBRUARY, 2022.
is considering to change current quarantine system to manage COVID-19 like a
seasonal flu, as severe cases decline despite rapid
increase in the spread. On 4th, Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure
Headquarters said it would fully review the possibility of switching to a
medical system similar to seasonal flu while evaluating capacity of the medical
system, the final severity rate and the fatality rate. SKorea¡¯s daily COVID-19 cases surpassed 20,000 mark on 1st for the
first time, due to fast spread of the omicron variant and continued to
break records to surpass the 100,000 mark on 18th and 170,000 mark on 23rd.
trade surplus came to $840 mil in Feb, turnaround from previous two months of
trade deficit. Exports jumped 20.6% on-year to $53.91 bil
as overseas shipments of chips, autos and other key products increased amid
global economic recovery. It marked first time that country's exports volume
surpassed the $50 bil mark in Feb. Previous record was set in Feb 2012, when
corresponding figure came to $46.3 bil. Imports jumped 25.1% to $53.07 bil,
also the highest for any Feb due mainly to soaring global energy prices.
US Biden administration imposes economic sanctions against Russia for invading
Ukraine, SKorean firms are expected to take collateral damage. For
Samsung Electronics and SK hynix, who sold chips worth KW88.5 bil ($73.5 mil)
to Russia last year, damage is inevitable unless they find alternative market.
Korean-made cars and auto equipment, which take up 25.5% and 15.1% of Korea¡¯s
exports to Russia, are expected to take a hit as well. In 2014, when Russia
forcefully annexed Crimea, Korea¡¯s export of cars and tires plunged 62.1% and
55.7%, respectively. Hyundai Motor and Kia, who run factories that churn out
230,000 cars per year in Russia, are within the range of sanctions. More than
90% of Korean auto parts exports to Russia go to two automakers.
was fifth-largest country in the world in terms of auto production last year, keeping its rank for second consecutive year despite chip
shortage-triggered decrease in car manufacturing, according to Korea Automobile
Manufacturers Association on 28th. It produced 3.46 mil cars, down 1.3%
on-year. China produced most cars with 26.8 mil, followed by the US with 9.15
mil, Japan with 7.84 mil and India with 4.39 mil. India showed 29.6% increase
in production, making it to fourth, replacing Germany. Germany saw 8.8% drop in
output with 3.42 mil cars, lowest output since 1975.
Global shipyards were awarded newbuilds of 3.07 mil cgt in Jan, up 72% from 1.78 mil cgt in
Dec 2021. With this, global new order intakes have rebounded in four months
since Sept 2021. China topped in
order sales market with 1.47 mil cgt (48% shares) awarded, followed by
Korea (1.38 mil cgt, 45%) and Japan (90,000 cgt, 3%), according to Clarksons
Research. Compared to Dec, Korea and China saw 160% and 51% increases,
respectively, in their order sales. Japan experienced 18% decline. Of Korean shipyards' main order items in
Jan, LNG carrier (1.11 mil cgt, 36%) and large-sized containership (over 12,000
teu, 940,000 cgt, 31%) accounted for as much as 67%, while there were no orders
for VLCC, Suezmax and Aframax tankers.
of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) of Korea and Ministry of Employment of
Korea and Labor signed cooperation agreement on 24th for HHI¡¯s Gunsan shipyard to
reopen. HHI stopped operation of its Gunsan shipyard in July 2017 as part
of its self-rescue plan after long-term slump in shipbuilding industry, such as
2008 global financial crisis and 2016 dearth of orders. However, as newbuilding
orders dramatically improved, HHI decided to resume operation of its Gunsan
shipyard from Jan 2023. Korean government and government of Jeollabuk-do
province of Korea and Gunsan city welcomed re-operation of Gunsan
shipyard. Also, governments of North Jeolla Province and Gunsan plans to
help finance HHI to hire workers, support its subcontractors and operate buses
to the shipyard. HHI will hire 750 workers to produce 100,000 tons of blocks
for large container ships annually, starting in 2023.
ATTACHMENT: Korea Report - February 2022 (PDF FILE)
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