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Korea: Exports contract at fastest rate in over six years, trade surplus narrows

November 20, 2015

In October, exports totaled USD 43.4 billion, according to the Korea Customs Services. The reading represented a 15.9% year-on-year decrease, marking the 10th consecutive decline and the largest drop in more than six years (September: -8.4% year-on-year).

Meanwhile, imports totaled USD 36.8 billion in October, which was below the 34.6 billion recorded in September. The reading marked a substantial 16.6% annual decline (September: -21.8% yoy) and was the 10th straight double-digit contraction.

The trade balance narrowed in October compared to the same month last year. The trade surplus came in at USD 6.7 billion in October, which was smaller than the USD 7.5 billion surplus registered in the same month of 2014. Moreover, the October trade surplus was also smaller than the USD 8.9 billion surplus registered in September. In the 12 months up to October, the trade surplus reached USD 83.7 billion (September: USD 84.5 billion surplus).

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect exports to contract 4.3% in 2015 and to expand 3.1% in 2016.


Author:, Economist

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Korea Trade Chart


Korea Trade12m October 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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