Korea Trade Balance


Trade surplus narrows in May

In May, exports rose a robust 22.4% over the same month the previous year to reach USD 47.6 billion, according to data released by the Korea Customs Services (KCS). The reading came in below the even stronger 23.7% April print (previously reported: +25.1%) and confirmed the strength of the external sector, with exports expanding at a double-digit rate for the 19th consecutive month. According to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), the May result reflected a strong increase in export of petroleum products, which surged 87.0% over the previous year. In addition, exports of wireless communications devices grew 33.9%. Imports increased 30.3% year-on-year in May, picking up from April's 24.0% annual increase, reaching USD 45.4 billion. As imports accelerated, the trade surplus narrowed from USD 4.5 billion in April ? which had marked the largest surplus since October 2010 ? to USD 2.2 billion in May.

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