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Korea: Exports contract again in November, trade surplus widens on greater import decline

December 14, 2015

In November, exports totaled USD 44.4 billion, according to the Korea Customs Services. The reading represented a 4.7% year-on-year decrease, marking the 11th consecutive decline (October: -15.9% yoy).

Meanwhile, imports totaled USD 34.1 billion in November, which was below the 36.8 billion recorded in October. The reading marked a substantial 17.6% annual decline (September: -16.6% yoy) and was the 11th straight double-digit contraction.

The trade balance widened in November compared to the same month last year. The trade surplus came in at USD 10.4 billion in November, which was greater than the USD 5.3 billion surplus registered in the same month of 2014. Moreover, the November trade surplus was also larger than the USD 6.7 billion surplus registered in October. In the 12 months up to October, the trade surplus reached USD 88.8 billion (October: USD 83.7 billion surplus).

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect exports to contract 4.3% in 2016 and to expand 3.1% in 2017.


Author:, Economist

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Korea Trade12m November 2015

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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