Trade Balance in Korea

Korea Trade Balance | Economic News & Forecasts

Korea - Trade Balance

Exports contract at a softer pace in December

Merchandise exports decreased 5.2% year-on-year in December, weaker than the 14.4% drop recorded in November, totaling USD 45.7 billion in December (November: USD 44.1 billion). Meanwhile, merchandise imports fell 0.7% in December, better than November’s 13.0% fall, and totaling USD 43.7 billion (November: USD 40.7 billion).

The merchandise trade surplus narrowed to USD 2.0 billion in December from USD 4.2 billion in the same month a year prior (November 2019: USD 3.3 billion surplus). Meanwhile, the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance narrowed to a USD 39.2 billion surplus in November from the USD 41.4 billion surplus in November.

The Korea-Japan political rift continued to weigh on trade between the two economies, but tensions seemingly thawed in recent weeks and are expected to improve going forward, which bodes well for the external sector. Moreover, the highly anticipated “Phase One” deal between the U.S. and China also adds further optimism to Korea’s trade outlook.

FocusEconomics panelists expect merchandise exports to increase 2.0% and imports increase 1.2% in 2020, bringing the trade surplus to USD 79.0 billion. In 2021, exports are expected to increase 6.2% and imports to rise 2.1%, resulting in a trade surplus of USD 104.2 billion.

Korea - Trade Balance Data

2013   2014   2015   2016   2017  
Trade Balance (USD billion)44.0  47.2  90.3  89.2  95.2  

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Korea Trade Balance Chart

Korea Trade
Note: Trade balance in USD billion.
Source: Korea Customs Service and FocusEconomics calculations.

Korea Facts

Value Change Date
Bond Yield1.681.55 %Dec 31
Exchange Rate1,1560.21 %Dec 31

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