SEOUL: Overseas sales of South Korea-made passenger cars plunged sharply in the fourth quarter of 2017 from a year earlier due to a year-end adjustment of inventories, customs data showed Wednesday. The total value of passenger car exports reached US$9 billion during the October-December period, down 16.2 percent from a year earlier. The on-year dip marks the largest since the third quarter of 2016, when the comparable figure was 17.4 percent, according to the data by the Korea Customs Service (KCS). By volume, a total of 590,000 units were shipped overseas during the fourth quarter of last year, also down 23 percent over the cited period, the data showed. Exports to the United States and Saudi Arabia dipped, while shipments to Australia and Germany rose.
Imports of passenger vehicles, meanwhile, surged 41.3 percent on-year to $3 billion during the three-month period. For the whole of 2017, passenger car exports reached $38.1 billion, up 4.5 percent from a year earlier, while imports gained 3.7 percent to $9.6 billion over the cited period, the latest findings showed.