South Korea Trade Surplus Widens 42% YoY In July


South Korea's trade surplus increased sharply to USD 10.65 billion in July of 2017 from USD 7.51 billion in the same month a year earlier, mainly supported by double-digit growth of exports, preliminary data showed.

Year-on-year, sales jumped 19.5 percent to USD 48.85 billion, following a marginally revised  13.6 percent rise in the prior month and beating consensus of a 17.4 percent growth. It was the seventh straight month of double-digit growth in outbound shipments, the longest stretch of increase at such pace since 2011. Sales of semi-conductors surged 57.8 percent while those of ships skyrocketed 208.2 percent. Exports also rose for: electronic storage devices (11.3 percent), vehicles (7.5 percent) and flat screens (6.3 percent). In contrast, outbound shipments declined for: wireless devices (-27.4 percent) and autoparts (-13.3 percent).

Exports increased to China (6.6 percent), Japan (5.1 percent), the EU countries (10.2 percent) and the US (7.0 percent). Sales to India jumped 79.2 percent, due to robust demand for South Korean mobile phones and steel products. 

Imports increased by 14.5 percent to USD 38.20 billion, compared to an upwardly revised 19.8 percent gain in a month earlier while market estimated a 15.6 percent increase. It was the ninth straight month of increase in inbound shipments and the longest stretch of growth since September 2014.

In June 2017, the trade surplus was downwardly revised to 10.8 USD billion.

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

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


Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
8/1/2017 3:15:19 PM