Korea skyline

Korea Trade June 2023

Korea: Merchandise balance turns positive in June for first time in 16 months

Merchandise exports decreased 6.0% over the same month last year in June (May: -15.2% year on year). June’s figure marked the softest fall since October 2022. Meanwhile, merchandise imports dived 11.7% on an annual basis in June (May: -14.0% yoy).

As a result, the merchandise trade balance turned positive for the first time since February 2022, recording a USD 1.1 billion surplus in June (May 2023: USD 2.1 billion deficit; June 2022: USD 2.5 billion deficit). Lastly, the trend improved, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 63.1 billion deficit in June, compared to a USD 66.7 billion deficit in May.

The reason exports fell less in June was statistical, as there were more working days in June 2023 than in June 2022. Adjusting for this by looking at average exports per day, the annual rate of contraction accelerated to -10.1% yoy in June from -9.3% yoy in May. Exports to China continued to tank despite the country reopening from Covid-19 earlier this year. More positively, automobile shipments continued to rise sharply again.

Nomura’s Jeong Woo Park said:

“Export growth has already bottomed out on a year-on-year basis and should rise further after the July export data due to stabilizing export prices and more positive base effects ahead. However, we expect export growth to remain negative throughout H2 and the trade balance to swing back to a deficit.”

Free sample report

Access essential information in the shortest time possible. FocusEconomics provide hundreds of consensus forecast reports from the most reputable economic research authorities in the world.
Close Left Media Arrows Left Media Circles Right Media Arrows Right Media Circles Arrow Quote Wave Address Email Telephone Man in front of screen with line chart Document with bar chart and magnifying glass Application window with bar chart Target with arrow Line Chart Stopwatch Globe with arrows Document with bar chart in front of screen Bar chart with magnifying glass and dollar sign Lightbulb Document with bookmark Laptop with download icon Calendar Icon Nav Menu Arrow Arrow Right Long Icon Arrow Right Icon Chevron Right Icon Chevron Left Icon Briefcase Icon Linkedin In Icon Full Linkedin Icon Filter Facebook Linkedin Twitter Pinterest