KITA strengthens monitoring of key materials

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KITA President Koo Ja-yeol speaks at a press conference in Seoul on Monday. (KITA)

The Korea International Trade Association said on Monday it would step up monitoring of supply chains for key materials in close cooperation with government agencies and conglomerate business units, amid the prolonged shortage of solution supplies. duration.

According to a recent study by the trade lobby, South Korea is heavily dependent on a single country for its supplies of 3,911 materials, with China accounting for almost half of the total.

Over the past 10 months, Korea has relied on imports from China for 95.2% of its urea solution, a fluid used in diesel cars to reduce emissions. Supply was hit hard after China tightened exports of the material amid a trade dispute with Australia.

“We will continue to monitor the supply chain of key materials in partnership with our members like Samsung C&T and LX International, who have global networks and sourcing know-how,” said a C&T executive. KITA to reporters.

He hinted that the launch of a government-industry working group was imminent, saying the main issue was how to identify “strategic materials” to focus on.

“Since materials for futuristic technologies are generally considered strategic materials, it remains to be seen whether the urea solution could be categorized as strategic materials,” he added.

Among the items for which Korea is heavily dependent on China, the KITA study identified magnesium ingots for automotive aluminum and tungsten oxide for chips and batteries as two where increased scrutiny is needed. because of their industrial impact.

Meanwhile, KITA said, the country’s exports are poised to hit an all-time high this year and continue to do so next year.

This year, exports hit a record high of 757 trillion won ($636.2 billion), a jump of 24.1 percent from a year ago, while imports jumped 29 percent. 4% to 720 trillion won.

The trade lobby has also offered an optimistic outlook for next year, forecasting both exports and imports to increase – exports by 2.1% from this year and imports by 1.6%.

Chips, which account for nearly 20% of the country’s total exports, drove the overall volume higher, while other key items such as chemicals, textiles, displays and wireless devices fared well.

Despite a recent drop in chip prices, KITA predicted global chip demand will remain strong in the coming months, receiving a big boost from the upcoming server replacement cycle and the arrival of memory chips. Next-gen DDR5.

By Lee Ji-yoon ([email protected])

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