South Korea’s trade surplus narrowed to USD 6.55 billion in October of 2018 from USD 6.93 billion in the same month of the preceding year, preliminary data showed. It was the smallest trade surplus since June, as imports climbed 27.9 percent year-on-year to USD 48.22 billion after sliding 2.1 percent in September and exports rose at a softer 22.7 percent to USD 54.97 billion after declining 8.2 percent in the previous month, led by sales of memory chips and petrochemical products. Balance of Trade in South Korea averaged 1043.97 USD Million from 1966 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 13419.36 USD Million in September of 2017 and a record low of -4043.46 USD Million in January of 2008.

South Korea Balance of Trade
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South Korea Trade Surplus Narrows in October


South Korea’s trade surplus narrowed slightly to USD 6.55 billion in October of 2018 from USD 6.93 billion in the same month of the preceding year, preliminary data showed.

In October, imports to South Korea jumped 27.9 percent year-on-year to USD 48.22 billion in October of 2018, after an upwardly revised 1.6 percent fall in the previous month and well above market expectations of 19 percent increase.

Exports surged 22.7 percent year-on-year to USD 54.97 billion in October, recovering from a 8.2 percent fall in the previous month. The sharp rebound  was largely attributable to the traditional three-day Chuseok holidays falling in September this year but in October last year. Sales of petroleum goods soared 42.9 percent to a record high of  USD 4.49 billion, boosted by strong demand and rising oil prices. Also, exports of general machinery soared 51.7 percent to a record-high of USD 4.99 billion, due to large infrastructure projects in emerging economies. In addition, outbound shipments of semiconductors jumped 22.2 percent to USD 11.59 billion. On the other hand, sales of displays fell 7.9 percent to USD 2.29 billion, affected by falling prices of liquid crystal display panels amid weak demand for TVs. Also, exports of wireless communication equipment was 18.2 percent lower to  USD 1.66 billion, due to increased production in overseas factories and falling demand for new smartphones.

Among major trading partners, exports to China, South Korea's top trading partner, rose 17.7 percent on-year on the back of memory chips, petrochemicals and machinery products. Also, sales to the US surged 47.8 percent, driven by strong demand for new SUVs, general machinery and wireless communication equipment.

Considering the first ten months of 2018, the trade surplus narrowed sharply to USD 61.17 billion from USD 82.01 billion in the corresponding period the prior year.


Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE) l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com
11/1/2018 11:32:33 AM



Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-09-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade $6.9B $6.9B $ 3.3B
2018-10-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade $9.7B $6.85B $ 5.4B
2018-11-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade $6.55B $9.57B $ 3.2B
2018-11-30 12:00 AM Balance of Trade $6.55B $ 3.1B


South Korea Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade 6552.00 9565.35 13419.36 -4043.46 USD Million [+]
Exports 54972.00 50588.86 55115.24 14.75 USD Million [+]
Imports 48421.00 41023.51 48421.00 38.61 USD Million [+]
Current Account 10831.40 8439.80 12287.50 -3756.80 USD Million [+]
Current Account to GDP 5.60 7.00 10.70 -10.50 percent [+]
External Debt 440543.60 433886.70 452718.00 80766.40 USD Million [+]
Terms of Trade 98.00 97.50 237.00 86.10 Index Points [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 3448981.00 10819799.00 10819799.00 0.00 USD Thousand [+]
Capital Flows 9802.30 7271.70 12440.20 -3385.80 USD Million [+]
Tourism Revenues 1356500.00 1381400.00 1765400.00 326500.00 USD Million [+]
Tourist Arrivals 1278604.00 1391727.00 1703495.00 213006.00 [+]
Gold Reserves 104.40 104.40 104.44 13.00 Tonnes [+]
Terrorism Index 0.61 0.23 2.62 0.00 [+]
Weapons Sales 587.00 585.00 587.00 7.00 USD Million [+]

Exports by Country  |   Exports by Category  |   Imports by Country  |   Imports by Category



South Korea Balance of Trade

Since 2009 South Korea has been recording trade surpluses due to exports growth. The country exports mainly machinery and transport equipment, oil, iron, steel and plastics while it imports oil, electrical machinery, natural gas and food. Main trading partners are: China (26 percent of total exports and 21 percent of total imports) and the United States (13 percent of exports and 10 percent of imports). Others include: Japan, ASEAN countries and Germany. This page provides the latest reported value for - South Korea Balance of Trade - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. South Korea Balance of Trade - actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases - was last updated on November of 2018.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
6552.00 9565.35 13419.36 -4043.46 1966 - 2018 USD Million Monthly




Country Last
Argentina 314.00 Sep/18
Australia 3017.00 Sep/18
Brazil 6121.36 Oct/18
Canada -416.30 Sep/18
China 340.16 Oct/18
Euro Area 13141.70 Sep/18
France -5663.00 Sep/18
Germany 18395.00 Sep/18
India -17130.00 Oct/18
Indonesia -1819.90 Oct/18
Italy 2564.00 Aug/18
Japan 139.56 Sep/18
Mexico -194.00 Sep/18
Netherlands 4949.00 Sep/18
Russia 18485.00 Sep/18
Saudi Arabia 162782.00 Jun/18
Singapore 3685.26 Sep/18
South Africa -2950.00 Sep/18
South Korea 6552.00 Oct/18
Spain -3057300.00 Aug/18
Switzerland 1447.00 Sep/18
Turkey -1869.47 Sep/18
United Kingdom -27.00 Sep/18
United States -54019.00 Sep/18


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