Korea: Exports remain depressed
October 15, 2012
In September, exports contracted 2.0% over the same month last year to USD 45.6 billion, according to revised data released by the Korea Customs Service (KCS). The reading marked, nonetheless, an improvement over the revised 6.0% decline recorded in August (previously reported: -6.2% year-on-year), and came above market expectations of a 5.5% contraction. Sluggish global demand, together with intensifying tensions in the Eurozone, continues to dampen Korea's external sector. According to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), exports contracted across most sectors. Exports of ships and computers registered the largest drops over the same month last year, offsetting expansions in wireless communication devices and petroleum products. Imports fell 6.1% year-on-year in September to USD 42.5 billion, following the sharp 9.8% drop in August. As a result, the trade surplus widened to USD 3.0 billion in September, well above the USD 1.2 billion surplus recorded in the same month last year.