South Korea Posts Largest Trade Surplus On Record In April


South Korea's trade surplus rose to USD 13.25 billion in April of 2017 from USD 8.70 billion a year earlier. It was the largest trade surplus on record, as exports increased more than imports, preliminary data showed

Year-on-year, sales  surged 24.2 percent from a year earlier to USD 51.01 billion, following a 13.7 percent in the prior month. It was the sixth straight month of growth and the fastest in almost six years, due to a surge in the exports of semi-conductors (56.9 percent) and ships (102.9 percent). Sales also rose for petroleum products (25.6 percent), vehicles (11.6 percent) and flat screens (10.2 percent). In contrast, exports declined for wireless devices (-12.8 percet) and autoparts (-10.4 percent)

Exports to China rose 10.2 percent, marking a double digit growth for a fourth month in a row. Meantime, outbound shipments to the EU countries jumped 64.9 percent, the most since early 2011. Also, sales to Japan (23.8 percent) and the US went up by 3.9 percent.

Imports rose 16.6 percent to USD 37.75 billion, compared to a 26.9 percent gain but below forecast of a 21.0 percent rise.

In March 2017, the trade surplus was downwardly revised to USD 6.27 billion.

For 2017, exports are expected to increase 2.9 percent, supported by improving global demand, while imports are projected to grow at a faster 7.2 percent. 

The trade balance has been in consistent surpluses since February 2012.

Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
5/1/2017 3:15:58 AM