Korea: Exports continue to contract in July
July 29, 2016
In July, exports totaled USD 41.0 billion, according to the Korea Customs Services (KCS). The reading represented a 10.2% year-on-year decrease and the 19th consecutive monthly contraction. July’s contraction was more pronounced than both June’s 2.7% drop and the 4.6% decrease expected by the markets.
Imports totaled USD 33.3 billion in July, contracting 14.0% over the USD 38.6 billion registered in the same month last year. Imports have consistently contracted since October 2014.
Korea’s trade surplus totaled USD 7.8 billion in July, which came in well below the USD 11.5 billion tallied in the previous month. The surplus in July prompted the 12-month trade surplus to widen to USD 94.1 billion, the highest in the country’s history. According to the Bank of Korea, this record-high trade surplus was mainly driven by the fall in international oil prices as energy imports far exceed exports.
Author: Luis Lopez Vivas, Economist