South Korea Trade Surplus Widens 4.5% YoY in August


South Korea’s trade surplus increased to USD 6.9 billion in August of 2018 from USD 6.6 billion in the same month of the preceding year, preliminary data showed. Exports rose 8.7 percent year-on-year to a record high for August of USD 51.2 billion while imports went up 9.2 percent to USD 44.3 billion.

In August, exports grew by 8.7 percent to USD 51.2 billion, missing market expectations of a 10.1 percent growth and after a 6.2 percent rise in July. It was the second straight month of growth in outbound shipments amid escalating trade row between China and the US. Exports of semiconductors jumped 31.5 percent, driven by solid sales of high-value memory chips and storage devices in major markets. Also, sales of petrochemical products grew 17 percent, supported by solid demand and higher oil prices. In addition, sales of vehicles resumed to growth, due to a rebound in exports to the US. By contrast, outbound ships tumbled (-71.8 percent), dragged by a slump global demand and a high base effect.
 
Among major trading partners, exports to China, South Korea’s largest trading partner, soared 20.8 percent, marking the 22nd straight month of growth, driven by robust memory chip sales. In addition, sales to the US went up by 1.5 percent, supported by a jump in memory chips, petrochemical goods and vehicles, offsetting weak sales of wireless communications equipment and home appliances. 

Inbound shipments increased by 9.2 percent year-on-year to USD 44.3 billion, slower than a 16.2 percent rise in a month earlier but beating market estimates of a 7.7 percent growth.

Considering the first eight months of 2018, the trade surplus narrowed sharply to USD 49.21 billion from USD 61.8 billion in the same period the prior year.
 

South Korea Trade Surplus Widens 4.5% YoY in August


Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE) | Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com
9/3/2018 9:45:06 AM