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S.Korea's exports set for 10th straight month of growth in August

08/29/2021 | 08:30pm EDT

* reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/econ-polls?RIC=KREXP%3DECI poll data

* Aug exports +35.7% year/year, imports +46.4% year/year - poll

* July industrial output -0.1% s/adj m/m vs +2.2% in June - poll

* Aug CPI +2.3% year/year vs +2.6% in July - poll

* Trade data due on Sept. 1, 9 a.m.

SEOUL, Aug 30 (Reuters) - South Korea's exports are expected to have expanded for a 10th straight month, a Reuters poll showed on Monday, supported by robust demand for key items, even as the resurgence in coronavirus weighed on business sentiment.

Outbound shipments in August were seen growing 35.7% from a year earlier, the median forecast in a poll of 14 economists showed, accelerating from a 29.6% expansion seen in July.

"Exports will be supported by strong imports from advanced economies, memory chip demand, and seasonal demand for certain key items, which will help cushion near-term headwinds from softer regional demand and coronavirus-related supply disruptions," said Lloyd Chan of Oxford Economics.

Data from last week showed exports for the first 20 days of the month jumped 40.9% year-on-year, with those of semiconductors, petroleum products and cars surging 39.8%, 55.3% and 37.0%, respectively.

Economists, however, worry that the impact from the fast-spreading Delta variant across the region may weigh on the manufacturing-heavy economy.

"Export growth may slow gradually going forward, given that the resurgence in COVID-19 may weaken business sentiment and demand for durable goods, and disrupt the supply chain further," said Chun Kyu-yeon, economist at Hana Financial Investment.

Monday's poll also forecast South Korea's total imports to have risen 46.4% year on year, faster than a 38.1% increase in July and set for the sharpest growth since May 2010.

Full month trade data will be released on Wednesday at 9 a.m. local time (0000 GMT).

In the same poll, 15 economists separately predicted that consumer prices this month would rise 2.3% from a year earlier, down from a 2.6% increase marked in July but still staying above the central bank's 2%-target for a fifth month in a row.

Some 10 economists also estimated that industrial output in July would have shrank a median 0.1% month-on-month, sharply reversing a 2.2% expansion seen in June. (Reporting by Joori Roh; Additional reporting by Vivek Mishra, Shaloo Shrivastava, Md Manzer Hussain in Bangalore and Jihoon Lee in Seoul; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

ę Reuters 2021
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