Korea Trade


Korea: Plunging imports offset declining exports; trade surplus grows

May 19, 2015

In April, exports totaled USD 46.2 billion, according to the Korea Customs Services. The reading represented an 8.0% year-on-year decrease, which exceeded the 4.5% decline recorded in March and marked the largest loss in more than two years.

Meanwhile, imports totaled USD 37.7 billion in April, which was below the 38.5 billion recorded in March. Moreover, April’s reading marked a substantial 17.8% annual decline, the fourth straight double-digit contraction.

Given that imports fell relatively more than exports, the trade balance grew compared to the same month last year. The trade surplus came in at USD 8.5 billion in April, which was greater than the USD 4.4 billion surplus registered in the same month of last year. The April trade surplus was also slightly higher than the USD 8.4 billion surplus registered in March. In the 12 months up to April, the trade surplus reached USD 67.8 billion (March: USD 63.7 billion surplus), which represented the highest reading on record.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect exports to expand 5.6% in 2015 and to accelerate to 10.8% in 2016.

Author:, Economist

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Korea Trade Chart

Korea Trade12m April 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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