Korea Trade Balance


Trade surplus widens in December

In December, exports rose 22.6% over the same month the previous year to reach USD 44.1 billion, according to data released by Korea Customs Services (KCS). The figure came in above the 21.5% expansion recorded in November and marked the 14th consecutive double-digit increase in exports, confirming the strength of the external sector. Based on monthly figures, exports reached USD 466 billion in the whole year 2010, 28.3% above the USD 363 billion reading recorded in 2009. According to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), the annual result reflected strong increases in semiconductor exports, which surged 63.3% over the previous year, and by a 62.6% rise in automobile parts. Imports increased 21.7% year-on-year in December, down from November's 30.9% annual increase, reaching USD 40.1 billion. As a result, the trade surplus widened from USD 2.6 billion in November to USD 4.1 billion in December. For the whole year 2010, the trade surplus amounted to USD 41.2 billion, coming in above the USD 40.5 billion recorded in 2009 and marking the largest trade surplus in the last 20 years.

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