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S. Korea's air cargo volume shrinks in 2011
SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's air cargo traffic dropped 1.9 percent from a year earlier in 2011 due to a decrease of import-export shipments, the government said Wednesday.

   The country's air cargo shipments came to 3.52 million tons, compared with 3.59 million tons of cargo shipped in 2010, according to the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs.

   The drop came solely from a decrease in international air cargo volume, which slipped 2.6 percent on-year to 3.24 million tons. Domestic air cargo gained 7.3 percent to 281,133 tons.

   The ministry attributed the drop in international cargo to an overall decrease in shipments of small IT products, such as semiconductors and cellular phones, despite a slight growth of exports to Southeast Asian countries.

   Shipments to Southeast Asian countries gained 0.8 percent on-year to 859,696 tons while air cargo shipments to the United States slipped 5.3 percent to 685,018 tons with shipments to Japan dropping 7.3 percent to 439,415 tons.

   The ministry predicted the country's air cargo traffic will go up slightly this year.

   "In 2012, there will still be the influence of the European financial crisis, but the country's air cargo shipments will increase slightly on growing demand for semiconductors, TVs, displays and smartphones due to various international events such as the London Olympic Games and Euro 2012 (football tournament)," it said.

   bdk@yna.co.kr
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