South Korea’s trade surplus decreased to USD 4.12 billion in April 2019 from USD 6.16 billion in the same month a year earlier, preliminary data showed. Exports dropped by 2.0 percent year-on-year compared to market expectations of a 5.0 percent drop while imports rose 2.4 percent above forecasts a 0.3 percent increase. Considering the first four months of 2019, the trade surplus narrowed to USD 13.44 billion from USD 18.79 billion in the corresponding period the prior year. Balance of Trade in South Korea averaged 1068.45 USD Million from 1966 until 2019, 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 6400.00 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 4500.00 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.

South Korea Balance of Trade
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Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2019-02-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade $1.34B $4.3B
2019-03-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade $3.1B $1.29B $1.5B
2019-04-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade $5.22B $2.96B $4.9B
2019-05-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade $4.12B $5.21B $5.4B
2019-06-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade $4.12B $5.9B
2019-07-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade $ 6.4B
2019-08-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade $7.4B



South Korea Trade Surplus Narrows in April

South Korea’s trade surplus decreased to USD 4.12 billion in April 2019 from USD 6.16 billion in the same month a year earlier, preliminary data showed. Exports dropped by 2.0 percent year-on-year compared to market expectations of a 5.0 percent drop while imports rose 2.4 percent above forecasts a 0.3 percent increase.

Year-on-year, exports dropped by 2.0 percent to USD 48.86 billion April, following an 8.2 percent fall in March, while markets expected a 5.0 percent decrease. The decline in April's exports was partially due to a fall in cost of semiconductors and petrochemicals; slowing Chinese economy; ongoing trade dispute between the US and China and stagnant world trade. Sales of semiconductors fell 13.5 percent, mostly due to falling prices of memory chips, prolonged inventory adjustments in data centers, and sluggish demand for smartphones. Additionally, sales of petrochemicals went down 5.7 percent. Meanwhile, sales increased for general machinery (0.3 percent) and automoviles (5.8 percent) due to newly launched models and growing popularity of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and eco-friendly cars. Among trading partners, exports fell to China (-4.5 percent) and the ASEAN (-1.0 percent)  while those to the US (3.9 percent) and Central and South America (39.7 percent) increased.

Imports went up 2.4 percent to USD 44.74 billion, after a 6.7 percent decline in the previous month and above market forecasts of a 0.3 percent gain. Imports rose mainly driven by higher purchases of crude oil (11.1 percent); liquefied natural gas (4.3 percent); gasoline vehicles (34.4 percent); and leather bags (22.9 percent).

Considering the first four months of 2019, the trade surplus narrowed to USD 13.44 billion from USD 18.79 billion in the corresponding period the prior year.


Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE) l Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com
5/1/2019 10:53:46 AM



South Korea Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade 4120.00 5205.66 13419.36 -4043.46 USD Million [+]
Current Account 4820.00 3601.90 12409.70 -3845.00 USD Million [+]
Current Account to GDP 4.70 4.90 10.70 -10.50 percent [+]
Imports 44737.00 41896.18 48480.62 38.61 USD Million [+]
Exports 48857.00 47101.84 55115.24 14.75 USD Million [+]
External Debt 440584.60 440598.50 452718.00 80766.40 USD Million [+]
Terms of Trade 95.10 95.90 237.00 86.10 Index Points [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 3173570.00 7698151.00 10820073.00 0.00 USD Thousand [+]
Capital Flows 6183.20 2822.40 12350.90 -3406.90 USD Million [+]
Tourism Revenues 1645900.00 1107900.00 1765400.00 326500.00 USD Million [+]
Tourist Arrivals 1635066.00 1535641.00 1703495.00 213006.00 [+]
Gold Reserves 104.40 104.40 104.44 13.00 Tonnes [+]
Terrorism Index 0.29 0.61 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 May of 2019.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
4120.00 5205.66 13419.36 -4043.46 1966 - 2019 USD Million Monthly




Country Last Previous
Argentina 1131.00 Apr/19
Australia 4949.00 Mar/19
Brazil 6060.00 Apr/19
Canada -3211.20 Mar/19
China 138.34 Apr/19
Euro Area 22532.90 Mar/19
France -5324.00 Mar/19
Germany 22683.00 Mar/19
India -15330.00 Apr/19
Indonesia -2501.90 Apr/19
Italy 4625.00 Mar/19
Japan 60.40 Apr/19
Mexico 1370.00 Apr/19
Netherlands 5330.00 Mar/19
Russia 15537.00 Mar/19
Saudi Arabia 180059.00 Dec/18
Singapore 2782.79 Apr/19
South Africa 5004.63 Mar/19
South Korea 4120.00 Apr/19
Spain -2352600.00 Mar/19
Switzerland 2494.00 Mar/19
Turkey -2136.73 Mar/19
United Kingdom -5408.00 Mar/19
United States -50000.00 Mar/19


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