South Korea Trade Surplus Narrows in October


South Korea trade surplus was at USD6.70 billion in October of 2015, down from USD7.53 billion a year earlier and missing market forecasts, as imports fell more than exports.

Year-on-year, exports in October dropped by 15.8 percent to US43.47 billion, the tenth straight monthly decline and the sharpest fall since August 2009, following a downwardly revised 8.4 percent drop in September. Sales declined for: petroleum products (- 41.4 percent year-on-year), petrochemical (-21.40 percent), automobiles (-1.3 percent, steel (-29.6 percent) and ships (-63.7 percent). In contrast, sales rose for: mobile communication devices, including smartphones (+42.1 percent), solid-state drives (+25.0 percent), organic light-emitting diodes (+29.1 percent) and cosmetics (+30.7 percent).

Outbond shipments to China, the largest market for South Korean products, fell by 8.0 percent from a year earlier, the fourth month in a row of falling. Sales also declined to the US (-11.4 percent), Japan (-25.6 percent), the ASEAN countries (-12.6 percent)  and the EU countries (-12.5 percent).

Imports declined by 16.6 percent to USD36.78 billion, following a 21.3 percent drop in September. While purchases plunged for raw materials (-29 percent), inbound shipments rose for consumer goods (+13.8 percent) and capital goods (20.9 percent).

In September 2015, South Korea posted a USD8.90 billion trade surplus. The country posted a record high of USD9.89 billion trade surplus in June this year.

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

South Korea Trade Surplus Narrows in October


Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
11/1/2015 4:03:46 AM