Korea Trade Balance


Exports expand at single-digit rate for first time in two years

In October, exports expanded 8.0% over the same month the previous year to USD 46.8 billion, according to data released by the Korea Customs Services (KCS). The reading came in below the 18.8% September print and marked the first time that exports increase at a single-digit rate after 23 consecutive months of double-digit rate expansions. According to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), the October result reflected increases in exports of petroleum products, which rose 29.8% over the same month last year, and general machinery, which expanded 20.7%. On a negative note, however, exports of ships ? one of the country's main export items ? dropped by 6.4% over October last year. Meanwhile, imports increased 15.7% year-on-year in October, down from September's 29.3% annual increase, reaching USD 42.8 billion. Despite the continued slowdown in exports, the trade surplus widened further, from USD 1.6 billion in September to USD 4.0 billion in October.

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