Korea Trade Balance August 2022


Korea: Merchandise exports grow at a milder pace in August

September 1, 2022

Merchandise exports climbed 6.6% on an annual basis in August (July: +9.2% year-on-year). Meanwhile, merchandise imports shot up 28.2% on an annual basis in August (July: +21.8% yoy).

As a result, the merchandise trade balance deteriorated from the previous month, recording a USD 9.5 billion shortfall in August (July 2022: USD 4.8 billion deficit; August 2021: USD 1.6 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend deteriorated, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 16.1 billion deficit in August, compared to the USD 5.0 billion deficit in July.

Analysts at Nomura commented on the trade outlook:

“As Nomura’s tech team expects global chip sales to decline by 6% in 2023 after an 8.3% increase in 2022, downside risks on export growth are rising. Indeed, we believe there is a high probability of a decline in export growth in coming months, which will end the two-year long expansion in the export sector.”

FocusEconomics panelists see merchandise exports expanding 9.6% and imports rising 16.5% in 2022, bringing the trade surplus to USD 10.6 billion. In 2023, exports are expected to increase 1.1% and imports to contract 2.6%, ending up with a trade surplus of USD 15.2 billion.

Author:, Economist

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Korea Trade Balance Chart

Korea Trade12m August 2022

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual average variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports.
Source: Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and FocusEconomics calculations.

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