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Korea: Trade surplus hits record high as imports continue to fall more than exports

July 17, 2015

In June, exports totaled USD 46.7 billion, according to the Korea Customs Services. The reading represented a 2.4% year-on-year decrease. The result marked the sixth consecutive decline but was much less pronounced than the 11.0% loss tallied in May.

Meanwhile, imports totaled USD 36.7 billion in June, which was above the 36.1 billion recorded in May. The reading marked a substantial 13.6% annual decline and was the sixth 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 10.0 billion in June, which was greater than the USD 5.4 billion surplus registered in the same month last year. The June trade surplus was also higher than the USD 6.3 billion surplus registered in May and marked the largest positive balance on record. In the 12 months up to June, the trade surplus reached USD 73.6 billion (April: USD 69. billion surplus), which represented the highest reading on record.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect exports to contract 1.7% in 2015 and to expand 3.3% in 2016.


Author:, Economist

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Korea Trade Chart


Korea Trade12m June 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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