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S. Korea’s car exports down 13.5% in H1
South Korea’s car exports declined 13.5 percent in the first half of the year, dragged down by a slowdown in emerging markets, industry data showed on Aug. 3. 

According to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, five major automakers -- Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, Renault Samsung, Ssangyong Motor and GM Korea -- shipped 1.33 million units from January to June, in comparison to 1.54 million units in the same period last year. 

The overall exports value tumbled to US$19.01 billion from US$22.21 billion, down 14.4 percent. 

Industry watchers said the decline is attributed to a slump in the all-important Chinese market, coupled with the falling demand from the emerging markets such as the Middle East and Central and South America. 
Outbound shipments to the Middle East declined 40.3 percent on-year and to Central and South America decreased 15.3 percent on-year, according to data by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. 

Based on the figures, the average unit price of exports stood at US$14,200, down from US$14,400 on-year.

Among the automakers, the front-runner Hyundai Motor’s unit price slumped to US$ 15,400 in the first six months, from US$15,900 in the same period last year. 

The drop is due to the luxury models of automakers. Exports of Hyundai Motor’s Grandeur, Genesis and Equus, decreased by 54.5 percent, 65.6 percent, 9.1 percent, respectively, on-year. 

“We expect to see the unit price rice once G90 is unveiled in the US in the third quarter, while Grandeur is expected to begin exports next year,” an official from Hyundai said. 

For GM Korea, the average unit price of exports inched up to US$12,800 from US$12,200 last year, but the figure is still behind US$13,500 in 2014. 

By Ahn Sung-mi (sahn@heraldcorp.com)