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  Korea Report - October 2022
  Author : Hwang & Co     Date : 22-11-07 15:53     Hit : 4526    
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KOREA REPORT - OCTOBER, 2022.

 

TOPICS.

 

Halloween festivities in Seoul's Itaewon neighborhood became a deadly disaster on 29th night, killing and injuring hundreds. SKorea officially entered a weeklong national mourning period until midnight of Nov 5th for victims of human stampede, which was recorded as one of the worst peacetime disasters in the country. At least 156 people were killed and many injured, particularly at a narrow and sloped street in Itaewon, as over 100,000 partygoers flocked to the capitals most popular party district for the first Halloween festivities since the lifting of social distancing rules. Many of the victims were young partygoers in their 20s, including 26 foreigners from 14 countries. Read more

 

SKorea, Japan and some Western member countries of the UN issued a joint statement on 5th condemning NK for its ballistic missile provocation. The group also called on all UN members, especially the UNSC members, to urge NK to abandon its "unlawful weapons programs" in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, and engage in diplomacy toward denuclearization. 

 

SKorea's industrial output declined 0.6% on-month in Sept, following a 0.1% on-month decrease in Aug, according to Statistics Korea on 31st, falling for third month in a row, with retail sales and facility investment also losing ground, hinting the country's economic recovery may be losing steam. Output in mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries fell 1.8%. Retail sales decreased 1.8% on-month.

 

SKorea posted a trade deficit of $6.7 bil in Oct. Exports posted $52.4 bil, falling 5.7% on-year, suffering negative growth in exports for first time in two years amid sharply contracted demand for semiconductors and Chinas economic slowdown. Imports increased 9.9% on-year to $59.1 bil. SKorea suffered trade deficit for seventh consecutive month, which marked the first time since it posted a protracted deficit between Jan 1995 and May 1997. Exports of semiconductors declined 17.4% on-year. Read more

 

Of the world's top 100 chipmakers in the world by average market cap from Jan to Sept period, only three local players, Samsung Electronics (SEC), SK hynix and SK Square, were listed, according to Federation of Korean Industries. Korea was ranked No 6 in terms of the number of companies in top 100 in market cap list, following China's 42, the US' 28, Taiwan's 10, seven from Japan and four from the Netherlands. SEC moved down to No 3 by market cap as of Oct, coming in behind Taiwan-based TSMC and US-based Nvidia. SEC was ranked No 1 in 2018. SK hynix also saw its position drop, falling four notches to No 14 in Oct.

 

PERFORMANCE OF THIRD QUARTER

 

SKorea's foreign reserves stood at $414.01 bil as of end Oct, down $2.76 bil on-month, as authorities unloaded dollars to support weakening local currency, Bank of Korea said. Foreign securities was valued at $362.35 bil, down $17.06 bil on-month, accounting 87.5% of the total. The value of deposits also decreased $14.1 bil on-month to $28.29 bil, which made up 6.8% of the total. SKorea had been ranked world's ninth-largest holder of foreign reserves as of end Sept.

 

Bank of Korea took a big step on 12th by raising benchmark rate from 2.5% to 3.0% in line to bring inflation under control. It is first time in 10 years that the rate has risen to 3% range. BOK hiked its policy rate seven times, a combined 2% points, since Aug last year, including unprecedented 0.5% increase in July and 0.25% rise in Aug.

 

SKorea's consumer prices rose 5.7% on-year in Oct, staying above 5% level for six consecutive months amid higher utility bills and lingering global economic uncertainties. The price of utility services gained 23.1% on-year in Oct amid high energy costs around the globe, marking the highest level since Jan 2010. Read more

 

Global shipyards won 984 newbuilds of 30.34 mil cgt from Jan to Sept this year, showing 32% on-year downturn (in terms of cgt). According to Clarksons Research, Korea and China have still been the two top, with 44% shares each. By country, Korea won 239 vessels of 13.22 mil cgt, while China secured 524 units of 13.27 mil cgt. Both countries saw downturns in new order sales compared to a year ago. Read more

 

KSOE announced on 11th that the company signed a formal contract with its compatriot fuel cell makers Doosan Fuel Cell, Hyaxiom, global oil giant Royal Dutch Shell and world's leading classification society DNV to form a consortium for testing ship fuel cell. Under the deal, HHI Group will install 600-killowatt solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) in a 174K cbm LNG carrier, which is supposed to be operated from 2025 by Shell in order to generate electricity. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop and supply high-efficient eco-friendly vessel that is capable of using fuel cell as a main power source on the long term. Read more

 

DSME announced on 6th that it has recently verified the performance of 'Onboard CO2 Capture System' installed in an actual LNG carrier. DSME explained that this accomplishment allows the company to step up its presence in building eco-friendly vessels through carbon neutrality. DSME has developed OCCS since 2020 together with its compatriot shipbuilding equipment provider Hi Air Korea. Read more

 

Although Korean shipbuilders have secured a lot of work against the backdrop of the maritime industry boom, shipbuilding industry is having a hard time seeking manpower. Even conglomerates such as HHI Group's three shipbuilders, SHI and DSME have been going through shortage of workforce. According to reports from major shipbuilders at the end of June, the number of their employees decreased by 1.1% (401) from 38,071 to 37,670 seen at the end of 2021. By company, HHI fell 52 from 12,811 to 12,759. SHI fell 296 to 8,983 from 9,279. DSME fell 233 from 8,802 to 8,569. HSHI rose 58 from 3,506 to 3,564. HMD increased by 34 from 3,024 to 3,058. Read more

 

 

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