South Korea Trade Surplus Narrows To 30-Month Low
South Korea recorded a USD 3.20 billion trade surplus in January of 2017, compared to a USD 4.93 billion surplus a year earlier. It was the smallest trade surplus since July 2014 as exports rose less than imports, preliminary data showed.
2/1/2017 4:32:06 AM
In January, sales grew 11.2 percent from a year earlier to USD 40.33 billion, following a 6.4 percent rise in December 2016. It was the third straight month of increase and the fastest since February 2012. Outbound shipments surged for petroleum products (67.4 percent) and semi-conductors (41.6 percent).
Exports went up to China (13.5 percent), followed by the EU countries (13.4 percent). In contrast, sales to the US fell 1.8 percent.
Imports jumped 18.6 percent to USD 37.13 billion, compared to a 8.0 percent gain in the prior month.
In December 2016, trade surplus was downwardly revised to USD 6.79 billion.
For 2017, exports are expected to rise 2.9 percent, supported by improving global demand, while imports are projected to grow by 7.2 percent. For the year, trade conditions will likely face downside risks from possible US protectionist measures under the administration of president Donald Trump and a slowdown in China.
The trade balance has been in consistent surpluses since February 2012.