The december exports massacre : the case of Taiwan, South Korea and China

We start to get the data for exports in december, for Asia. November was bad. December is likely to be a massacre.

Reminder : in november, thai exports dropped by 18,6 % (year on year).


South Korea’s exports fell 17.4% year-to-year in December
, the second largest drop since February 2002, as demand sank in virtually all of its major markets, the government said, predicting a tough year ahead for the export-dependent economy.

The decline was slightly less than a 19% fall in November but was steeper than expected (WSJ)

The ministry said that in December, South Korea recorded a trade surplus of USD 670 million, with exports falling 17.4% annually to USD 27.3 billion (source)

Adding more concerns over a slowdown in Asia’s fourth-largest economy, the country’s exports fell 40 percent during the first 10 days of January from a year ago, data from the Korea Customs Service showed. (Reuters)


Taiwan’s exports plunged by 41.9 per cent in December, the biggest decline in more than five years, due mainly to global slowdown and financial turmoil, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday.

‘The amount of exports in December stood at 13.64 billion US dollars, the smallest since October 2003, and a reduction of 9.84 billion dollars or 41.9 per cent compared with the same month last year,’ the ministry said in a press statement. (source)


China’s exports fell the most in almost a decade in December as the deepening global recession cut demand for the nation’s toys, clothes and electronics.

Shipments dropped 2.8 percent, the customs bureau said on its Web site today. That compares with a 21.7 percent gain a year earlier. (Bloomberg)

In november, chinese exports dropped by 2,2 %.

In Japan, it’s even worse. Japan is an important trade partner of Thailand, and an important local investor…

Japan’s exports plunged by a record in December, signaling companies will be forced to shut factory lines and fire more workers, driving the economy deeper into recession.

Exports plummeted 35 percent from a year earlier, the sharpest decline since 1980, the earliest year for which there is comparable data, the Finance Ministry said today in Tokyo. The December drop eclipsed a record 26.7 percent decline set the previous month. Economists predicted a 30.3 percent contraction. (Bloomberg)

As for Thailand, we should have the first data for december on january 20.

5 Responses to “The december exports massacre : the case of Taiwan, South Korea and China”

  1. 1 Insanity 13 January 2009 at 4:35 am

    A sign of things to come WORLDWIDE:
    China seen facing wave of unrest in 2009


    The biggest threats to China’s social fabric will come from graduating university students, facing a shrinking job market and diminished incomes, and from a tide of migrant laborers who have lost their jobs as export-driven factories have shut.

    Factory closures, sackings and difficulties paying social security had already unleashed a surge of protest. Officials in provinces that have provided tens of millions of low-paid workers for coastal factories have reported a leap in the number returning to their farm homes without work.

  2. 2 chinesethai 13 January 2009 at 6:59 am

    I think the Chinese Govt is always vigilant about social unrest. We should take note that this report came from a state bureau. My peasant friends in China told me that nothing is as scary as reported in the media.

    There is nothing anyone or any government can do to bring back demands. Most business people know how to take care of themselves.

    I believe a crisis should create another opportunity just like bushfire always paves way for new seeds and young plants to grow. The 1997 Crisis has taught people how to survive and bred new businesses.

  3. 3 Insanity 13 January 2009 at 9:51 am

    Chinesethai: “My peasant friends in China told me that nothing is as scary as reported in the media.” True – universal statement! I can vouch for that having lived through 2 gulf conflicts & other unsettling events in the middle-east.

    Failure makes room for innovation. The history of capitalism is filled with instances where failure, sometimes on a grand scale, paved the way for progress. Mechanization in the 1800s displaced millions of workers but set the stage for some of the most remarkable technological advances in history.

    Will be interesting to see what the new seeds produce.

  4. 4 antipadshist 13 January 2009 at 4:36 pm

    an interesting article on WSJ

    JANUARY 13, 2009
    China’s Foreign Reserves Declined in October

    “China’s central bank published data suggesting there were large outflows of capital from the country in the last quarter of 2008, a change that has put authorities in the unusual position of having to uphold market confidence in their currency.

    China’s reserves of foreign exchange declined by $25.9 billion in October, the People’s Bank of China said, though they then rose by $5 billion in November and $61.3 billion in December to end the year at $1.946 trillion. Officials have been flagging the possibility of a temporary decline in the reserves in comments since December, though the final figures were not released until Tuesday.

    The moves in China’s currency reserves, by far the largest in the world, are watched closely — not least because Beijing lends much of that cash back to the U.S. government. The total rise of $40.45 billion in reserves in the fourth quarter means that China is continuing to buy U.S. Treasurys and other government debt.

    But now, the risk that capital outflows could intensify is complicating management of the economy….
    analysts say, the threat of outflows appears to have kept China from significantly depreciating its currency, despite pressure from exporters for a cheaper yuan…

    Reluctance in Beijing to weaken the yuan from current levels is largely welcome news for China’s neighbors and trading partners. They have worried that a weaker yuan could start a cycle of competitive devaluations that would worsen the current global economic woes. The yuan gained about 7% this year through July, but has since then been largely flat.”

  5. 5 chinesethai 14 January 2009 at 4:11 am

    Yes, and we are seeing it is happening in China. I think the attitude of China’s young people have changed a lot from the past. They do no longer count on the Government’s generous help and stand up against the Government when they don’t get what they want. Instead, they are determining their own destiny.

    This story was published just a couple of days before the U.S. bubble burst. A new grad, who found it hard to find a job these days, suddenly discovers his entrepreneurial spirit inside.

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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