Korea: Merchandise exports increase at a softer pace in June
Merchandise exports rose 5.4% on an annual basis in June, following May’s 21.3% upturn. June’s figure beat market expectations but marked the softest growth since November 2020. Meanwhile, merchandise imports shot up 19.4% on an annual basis in June (May: +32.0% yoy).
As a result, the merchandise trade balance deteriorated from the previous month, recording a USD 2.5 billion deficit in June (May 2022: USD 1.7 billion deficit; June 2021: USD 4.3 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend deteriorated, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 1.7 billion surplus in June, compared to a USD 8.5 billion surplus in May.
Annual export growth this month was deflated by the fact that there were two fewer working days this June than in the same month last year. Average daily export growth—a gauge which is not affected by the number of working days in the month—was higher in June than it was in May. Heading into H2, export growth is set to moderate further, largely due to a slowing global economy dragging on external demand.