Korea Trade Balance August 2021


Korea: Merchandise exports grow at a quicker pace in August

September 1, 2021

Merchandise exports shot up 34.9% in annual terms in August, on the heels of July’s 29.6% jump. Meanwhile, merchandise imports jumped 44.0% over the same month last year in August (July: +38.1% yoy), marking the strongest increase since May 2010. The expansion in exports was broad-based, with all 15 major items growing at double-digit rates for the first time on record. Particularly, general machinery kept momentum amid increased demand for construction machinery.

As a result, the merchandise trade balance deteriorated from the previous month, recording a USD 1.7 billion surplus in August (July 2021: USD 1.8 billion surplus; August 2020: USD 3.7 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend pointed down, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 48.1 billion surplus in August, compared to the USD 50.0 billion surplus in July.

Our panelists see merchandise exports expanding 18.7% and imports rising 21.3% in 2021, bringing the trade surplus to USD 41.1 billion. In 2022, exports are expected to increase 5.6% and imports to rise 6.5%, resulting in a trade surplus of USD 38.4 billion.

Author:, Junior Economist

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Korea Trade Balance Chart

Korea Trade12m August 2021 0

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual average variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports.
Source: Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and FocusEconomics calculations.

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