Korea: Merchandise exports gain steam in July
Merchandise exports rose 9.4% on an annual basis in July, on the heels of June’s 5.2% rise. July’s reading was driven by increased exports to ASEAN, the EU, India and the U.S., which were partly counterbalanced by a softening in exports to China. Meanwhile, merchandise imports shot up 21.8% over the same month last year in July (June: +19.4% yoy) amid high energy prices.
As a result, the merchandise trade balance deteriorated from the previous month, recording a USD 4.7 billion shortfall in July (June 2022: USD 2.6 billion deficit; July 2021: USD 1.8 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend pointed down, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 4.8 billion deficit in July, compared to the USD 1.7 billion surplus in June.
For the remainder of H2, export growth is expected to moderate due to a slowing global economy, which will weigh on external demand.