Uncertainty in the global supply chain has surfaced as the recent import and export logistics crisis of companies has become an issue. In particular, compared to last year, the number of companies in Korea that view future export prospects negatively are increasing.
In the industry, demands for government-level support such as supporting freight charges and securing shipping spaces have begun to increase. Companies, in particular, are in a state of anxiety as there are many volatile factors such as rising raw material prices, lockdown of cities in China, and the recent surging of exchange rates.
The Federation of Korean Industries(FKI) has identified the situation for large corporations to devise countermeasures against the increase in international raw material prices and the increase in exchange rates. The Korea Federation of SMEs(KBIZ) has also been preparing to take measures for challenges arising from the export prospects of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the second half of 2022 and the recent difficulties in ocean and air logistics. Based on the results of the survey conducted by the two organizations, we would like to look at the following details:
First, we will ① examine the results of the export prospects of SMEs in 2022 and ② look at the difficulties of each factor in export risks. Lastly, in the export risk, we will ③ investigate the types of damage caused to import and export logistics companies due to the rise in the exchange rates.1) Export Prospects for Small and Medium Enterprises
The Korea Federation of SMEs(KBIZ) conducted an export forecast survey for the second half of 2022 targeting 497 SMEs with export records out of 508 SMEs. As a result the highest response was ‘normal’ (53.3%), ‘negative’ (very bad 4.7% + bad 20.9%) was 25.6%, and ‘positive’ (very good 1.4% + good 19.7%) was 21.1%.
[Export Prospects in the Second Half of 2022](Source: Korea Federation of SMEs)
Looking closely at each category, the negative responses were high in the imports of ‘500 million won or more,’ ‘steel/metal,’ and ‘chemical industrial products,’ and the positive response was high in the ‘medical and pharmaceuticals’ sector.
Companies that handle or simply process raw materials and export them are sensitive to the to market conditions, so negative opinions are high. The medical and pharmaceutical markets seem to have had positive results due to their high interest in health and quarantine such as epidemics, which are prevalent around the world.
[Export Outlook in the second half of 2022](Source: Korea Federation of SMEs)2) Export Risk
The survey shows that SMEs (497 companies) with export records considered ‘increase in raw material prices’ (72.2%) the highest followed by ‘logistics difficulties such as shortage of ships and containers and increased freight rates’ (44.3%), ‘lockdown of cities in China’ (20.3%), ‘exchange rate fluctuation’ (18.3%), and ‘disruption in supply and demand of parts’ (16.7%)
[Export Risk](Source: Korea Federation of SMEs)
As a category of export risk, the response rate of ‘increase in raw material prices’ was high in ‘steel/metal’, ‘textile’, and ‘plastic rubber and leather products’ by major industry.
The response for ‘steel/metal’, ‘textile’, and ‘plastic rubber and leather products’, which are sensitive to global risks, accounted for more than 80%, and rising raw material prices, which are sensitive to international affairs, were cited as the biggest challenges for companies.
The response rate of ‘logistics difficulties such as shortage of ships and containers and increased freight rates’ tended to increase as companies with ‘large’ amounts of exports and imports and was relatively high in the ‘chemical industrial products’ class by major industry.
[Export Risk Factors](Source: Korea Federation of SMEs)
In particular, 53.7% of SMEs responded that they had suffered damages due to the recent lockdown of cities in China. The types of damage include ▲delay in delivery schedule (44.3%) ▲decrease in sales and exports in China (40.9%) ▲Unable to acquire raw materials (34.0%) and ▲shutdown of local factories (21.7%).3) Types of Damage Caused by the Rise in the Exchange Rate
Let’s look at the types of damage caused by the recent sharp rise in the exchange rate.
First, the Federation of Korean Industries(FKI) conducted a survey of large corporations (100 responses) in the 12 major export industries  out of the top 500 companies in sales for 15 days from June 22nd, 2022 on the impact of rising international raw material prices and exchange rates. 87.0% responded that rising international raw material prices have a ‘negative effect’ on the business management. There were only 9.0% and 4.0% of ‘no impact’ and ‘positive impact’, respectively.
[The Impact of Business Management Due to the Rise in International Raw Material Prices and the Exchange Rate](Source: The Federation of Korean Industries)
According to the survey of 508 SMEs import and export logistics companies conducted by the Korea Federation of SMEs for a week from June 7th, 2022, 30.5% of the respondents said ‘Losses occurred’ due to the sharp increase in the exchange rate, and 19.1% answered that ‘Profits occurred.’
As for the types of loss caused by the rise in exchange rates to companies (155 companies, multiple responses), 78.1% responded with ‘increase in costs due to higher raw material prices’, followed by ‘strengthen burden due to increased logistics costs’ (43.2%), ‘request for lower unit prices’ (20.0%), etc.
[Types of Profit or Loss Caused by the Sharp Rise in the Exchange Rate](Source: Korea Federation of SMEs)
The response rate of ‘Losses occurred' due to the sharp rise in the exchange rate was relatively high in the 'steel/metal' and 'chemical and industrial products' classes by major industry.
[Profit or Loss Caused by a Sharp Increase in the Exchange Rate](Source: Korea Federation of SMEs)
[Types of Damage Caused by Increased Exchange Rate](Source: Korea Federation of SMEs)
Looking at the results above, the rise in the exchange rate is aggravating the difficulties of import and export logistics companies. The rise in the exchange rate usually leads to an increase in profits for exporters, but the strong dollar accompanied by the global economic slowdown is not favorable for exporting companies. For companies that import raw materials from overseas, and then make and export products, the import burden has increased, while it is difficult to offset losses by further increasing exports.
To overcome the challenges that companies experience with the rise of the exchange rate and logistics difficulties, we hope that the government will come up with innovative measures to help import and export companies in the market by listening to various distresses from the industry and devising various logistics support measures, including securing additional logistics capacity and stabilizing the exchange rate.References
 12 major export industries: semiconductors, general machinery, automobiles, petrochemicals, steel, petroleum products, ships, automobile parts, displays, bio-health, computers, and mobile communication devices
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