South Korea's automobile exports extended their losing streak to six straight months in April due mainly to shrinking demand from emerging markets, the South Korean government said Sunday.
Outbound shipments of vehicles came to 228,502 units last month, down 19 % from 282,044 units tallied a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The April figure widened from a 5.1 % on-year drop in March and an 8.4 % fall in February.
From a month earlier, it also fell 12.8 % from March's 261,908 units.
The total value of overseas shipments also plunged 18.3 % on-year to US$3.55 billion, with a 10.3 % on-month drop.
For the first four months of the year, car exports fell 13.2 % on-year to 881,707 units.
"Shrinking demand from emerging markets in the Middle East and Latin America weighed heavily on South Korea's car exports, along with reduced business days in April," the ministry said in a release.
On the other hand, total output by five local carmakers led by industry leader Hyundai Motor Co. sank 13.1 % on-year in March to 378,607 units from 424,401 as sluggish exports offset brisk domestic demand.
Domestic sales rose 3.7 % on-year to 158,427 units last month, marking positive growth for the third consecutive month, on the back of the resumption of an excise tax cut program.
In February, the government announced a plan to resume the tax benefits on cars this year to revive faltering domestic consumption. The program will be retroactive to January and run through June