Korea: Exports fall in March
April 18, 2012
In March, exports contracted 1.4% over the same month last year to USD 47.4 billion, according to data released by the Korea Customs Service (KCS), on the back of weaker global demand. The reading contrasted the robust 20.6% expansion recorded in February and defied market expectations of a mild 0.7% increase. According to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), exports of ships and wireless communication devices contracted sharply over the previous year, offsetting strong exports of automobiles. Imports also fell 1.4% year-on-year in March, which contrasted the 23.3% increase in February, and reached USD 44.9 billion. The trade surplus rose from USD 1.5 billion in February to USD 2.4 billion in March. The Central Bank expects exports to expand 5.6% this year, before accelerating to a 10.0% increase in 2013.