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Korea Trade January 2024

Korea: Merchandise exports increase at a quicker pace in January

Merchandise exports jumped 18.0% over the same month last year in January, on the heels of December’s 5.0% increase. January’s outturn marked the strongest growth since May 2022 and slightly exceeded market expectations. Adjusted for working day differences, exports rose 5.7%. Meanwhile, merchandise imports contracted 7.8% in annual terms in January (December: -10.8% yoy), marking the strongest result since March 2023.

As a result, the merchandise trade balance deteriorated from the previous month, recording a USD 0.3 billion surplus in January (December 2020: USD 4.5 billion surplus; January 2023: USD 12.7 billion deficit). Lastly, the trend pointed up, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 2.7 billion surplus in January, compared to the USD 10.2 billion deficit in December.

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