Korean Trade Balance Shows Signs of Recovery and Transition to Export Growth
Following four consecutive months of surplus and a decrease in exports, Korea’s trade balance in September recorded a surplus of $3.7 billion, marking a significant turnaround in performance. This is a positive development for the country’s key industries, raising expectations of achieving ‘export and more’ within the year.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy reported that exports last month amounted to $54.66 billion, a decrease of 4.4% compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, imports reached $50.96 billion, showing a significant drop of 16.5% due to the latest Import and Export Trends report. With this, the trade balance, calculated by subtracting imports from exports, reached $3.7 billion, the highest surplus recorded in the past two years.
Recovery in Key Industries
The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy’s recent announcement highlights a clear recovery in key industries. Notably, electric vehicle exports spiked nearly 50% compared to last year, reaching a record high for automobile exports in September. The increasing global oil prices also drove up the unit price of petroleum and petrochemical products, leading to the highest exports of petroleum products this year, known as the ‘paradox of high oil prices’.
Semiconductor exports, which significantly influence overall exports, have also demonstrated an improved performance. Despite a 13.6% decrease compared to the previous year, semiconductor exports reached $9.9 billion last month, marking the highest performance in a year. Moreover, the rate of decline in semiconductor exports has been steadily decreasing throughout the year, showcasing positive growth in this sector.
Positive Developments with China
Korea’s largest trading partner, China, also shows promising export trends. Although exports to China experienced a 17.6% decrease compared to the previous year, last month recorded the highest performance of the year at $11 billion. Exports to China have now surpassed $10 billion for two consecutive months, signaling a positive trade balance with a deficit of only $100 million. This marks the best performance since October last year (-$1.26 billion).
In conclusion, Korea’s trade balance is witnessing a notable recovery, with key industries experiencing positive growth. As the country transitions towards ‘export plus,’ focusing on increased export growth, these developments reignite optimism for Korea’s trade sector.
By Reporters Yoo Seung-hyuk and Kang Ju-ri
There is a marked recovery in performance in key industries
A transition to ‘export plus’ is expected within the year
Korea’s trade balance in September recorded a surplus of $3.7 billion. This is the fourth consecutive month of surplus following the surplus last June. Exports continued to fall for a year, but this was the lowest figure since October last year, raising expectations to achieve ‘export and more’ within the year.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy calculated that exports last month were $54.66 billion, down 4.4% from the same month last year, and imports were $50.96 billion, down 16.5% due to ‘September Import and Export Trends’. The trade balance, which subtracts imports from exports, was $3.7 billion, recording the largest surplus in the last two years.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on the 3rd that exports of key industries are showing a clear recovery. For example, electric vehicle exports last month rose almost 50% compared to a year ago, reaching a record high for automobile exports in September. As global oil prices rise, the unit price of petroleum and petrochemical products rises, and exports of petroleum products last month also reached their highest level this year, a phenomenon known as the ‘paradox of high oil prices’.
The export performance of semiconductors, which has the biggest impact on exports, has also improved. After hitting a low point in the first quarter, semiconductor exports reached $9.9 billion last month, the highest performance in a year. Although it is a decrease of 13.6% compared to a year ago, this is the lowest rate of decrease this year. Semiconductor exports are steadily improving to a monthly average of $6.86 billion in the first quarter, $7.55 billion in the second quarter, and $8.6 billion in the third quarter.
The export situation to China, Korea’s largest trading partner, is also improving. Exports to China fell 17.6% compared to a year ago, but last month recorded the highest performance of the year at $ 11 billion, and exports exceeded $ 10 billion for two consecutive months. Last month, the trade balance with China was a deficit of $100 million. This was the best since October last year (-$1.26 billion).
Reporters Yoo Seung-hyuk and Kang Ju-ri
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