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Korea Trade September 2023

Korea: Merchandise exports fall the least in a year in September

Merchandise exports decreased 4.4% in annual terms in September, following August’s 8.3% decrease. September’s result marked the smallest decline since September 2022. Meanwhile, merchandise imports slid 16.5% on an annual basis in September (August: -22.8% yoy).

As a result, the merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month, recording a USD 3.7 billion surplus in September (August 2023: USD 0.9 billion surplus; September 2022: USD 3.8 billion deficit). Lastly, the trend pointed up, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 38.6 billion deficit in September, compared to the USD 46.1 billion deficit in August.

Analysts at Nomura said: “There remain headwinds that can lead to some bumps in the path to recovery. That said, we expect export growth to extend its gradual recovery and see a pickup to single-digit gains in Q1 2024.”

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