A majority of foreign importers of Korean goods expect the country’s exports to remain solid in the second quarter on increased competitiveness, a poll showed Monday.
The index measuring the outlook of the country’s exports in the April-June period came to 57.5, compared with 52.7 tallied for the previous quarter, according to the survey by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).
The second-quarter reading marks the highest since the agency began to compile the index in the fourth quarter of 2009, it said.
The survey was conducted on 1,980 foreign importers of Korean products. A reading above 50 means more respondents believe their business conditions, or conditions for Korean exports, will improve.
Faster-than-expected recoveries in the U.S. and Europe will boost demand for Korean goods, and exports to quake-hit Japan are expected to rise as well, the survey showed.
Demand for Korean goods from Asia and China is also forecast to remain strong, it said.
However, production disruptions in Japan may lead to a smaller than expected rise in exports, the agency said.
The latest survey, jointly conducted by KOTRA and the Samsung Economic Research Institute, also showed that Korean exports’ price competitiveness will improve during the second quarter.
The index measuring Korean exporters’ price competitiveness came to 53.6 in the second quarter, up 0.5 percentage point from the previous quarter.
Korea’s exports posted a record high in March despite external uncertainties such as the political unrest in the Middle East and the earthquake in Japan, the commerce ministry said last week.
Exports soared 30.3 percent on-year to $48.6 billion in March, with imports climbing 27.9 percent to $45.5 billion, it said.