Korea: Plunging imports offset declining exports, keeps trade balance in surplus
April 20, 2015
In March, exports totaled USD 47.0 billion, according to the Korea Customs Services. The reading represented a 4.3% year-on-year decrease, which exceeded the 3.3% decline recorded in February and marked the largest loss in more than two years.
Meanwhile, imports totaled USD 38.6 billion in March, which was above the USD 33.8 billion recorded in February. However, March’s reading marked a substantial 15.3% annual decline, the third straight double-digit contraction.
Given that imports fell relatively more than exports, the trade balance improved compared to the same month last year. The trade surplus came in at USD 8.4 billion in March, which was much greater than the USD 3.5 billion surplus registered in the same month of last year. The March trade surplus was also higher than the USD 7.7 billion surplus registered in February. In the 12 months up to February, the trade surplus reached USD 63.6 billion (January: USD 58.7 billion surplus?), which represented the highest reading on record.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist