South Korea’s trade surplus narrowed to USD 4.56 billion in December of 2018 from USD 5.51 billion in the same month of the preceding year, a preliminary data showed. It was the smallest trade surplus since February, as imports rose while exports fell. Year-on-year, imports increased 0.9 percent to USD 43.91 billion, far lower than a 11.5 percent rise in November and missing market estimates of a 4.2 percent growth. Exports declined unexpectedly by 1.2 percent to USD 48.46 billion, following a 4.1 percent gain in a month earlier and missing estimates of a 3.3 percent rise. For full 2018, the trade surplus was at USD 70.5 billion, reaching the 10th straight year the country sold more goods than it bought. Sales for the year grew 5.5 percent from the same period a year earlier to a record high of USD 605.5 billion, while purchases jumped 11.8 percent to USD 505.0 billion. Balance of Trade in South Korea averaged 1055.34 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.
Balance of Trade in South Korea is expected to be 2133.00 USD Million by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Balance of Trade in South Korea to stand at 16100.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the South Korea Balance of Trade is projected to trend around 5800.00 USD Million in 2020, according to our econometric models.