Korea Trade March 2016


Korea: Contraction in exports moderates in March

April 20, 2016

In March, exports totaled USD 43.0 billion, according to the Korea Customs Services. The reading represented an 8.1% year-on-year decrease, marking the 15th consecutive monthly contraction. Nevertheless, March’s reading marked a softer drop than February’s 13.0% contraction.

Meanwhile, imports totaled USD 33.2 billion in March, which represented a 13.9% contraction over the USD 38.5 billion registered in the same month last year. Imports have been contracting uninterruptedly at a double-digit rate since January 2015.

As the contraction in exports was less aggressive in March and imports continued to collapse, the trade surplus improved. Korea’s trade surplus totaled USD 9.9 billion in March, which came in above the USD 7.1 billion registered in the previous month. The accumulated trade surplus in the 12 months up to March recorded USD 90.7 billion in March, which marked a multi-year high.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect exports to grow 0.7% in 2016 and to expand 2.4% in 2017.

Author:, Senior Economist

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Korea Trade Chart

Korea Trade12m March 2016

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual average variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports.
Source: Korea Customs Services (KCS) and FocusEconomics calculations.

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