Korea: Exports rebound in January
February 14, 2013
In January, exports rebounded to a 10.9% expansion over the same month the previous year, contrasting the 5.7% drop recorded in December. January's print exceeded market expectations of an 8.9% increase, and marked the strongest increase in 11 months. In the 12 months up to January, exports expanded 0.6% over the same period the previous year (December: -0.9% year-on-year).
According to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), exports of petroleum products and automobiles expanded notably in January, offsetting a contraction in exports of ships.
Imports rose 3.9% in January, which contrasted the 5.2% decrease recorded in December. As a result, in the last 12 months, imports fell 0.5% in annual terms (December: -0.5% yoy). Meanwhile, the trade balance reached a USD 0.5 billion surplus in January. As a result, in the 12 months up to January the trade surplus reached USD 31.3 billion, above the USD 26.0 billion surplus observed in the same month the previous year.