Korea Trade


Korea: Exports decline continues, trade surplus grows

October 19, 2015

In September, exports totaled USD 43.5 billion, according to the Korea Customs Services. The reading represented an 8.4% year-on-year decrease, marking the ninth consecutive decline and the third largest drop this year (August: -15.1% year-on-year).

Meanwhile, imports totaled USD 34.6 billion in September, which was below the 35.0 billion recorded in August. The reading marked a substantial 21.8% annual decline (August: -18.3% yoy) and was the ninth straight double-digit contraction.

Given that imports fell even more than exports, the trade balance grew compared to the same month last year. The trade surplus came in at USD 8.9 billion in September, which was more than double the USD 3.3 billion surplus registered in the same month of 2014. Moreover, the September trade surplus was also much larger than the USD 4.2 billion surplus registered in August. In the 12 months up to September, the trade surplus reached USD 84.5 billion (August: USD 78.8 billion surplus), which represented the highest reading on record.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect exports to contract 1.7% in 2015 and to expand 3.3% in 2016.

Author:, Economist

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Korea Trade Chart

Korea Trade12m September 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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