South Korea’s trade surplus narrowed sharply to USD 1.34 billion in January of 2019 from USD 3.45 billion in the same month of the preceding year, a preliminary data showed. It was the smallest trade surplus since February 2014, as exports dropped by 5.8 percent year-on-year to USD 46.35 billion, while imports declined 1.7 percent to USD 45.02 billion. Balance of Trade in South Korea averaged 1055.05 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 4230.00 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.

South Korea Balance of Trade
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Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-11-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade $6.55B $9.57B $ 3.2B
2018-12-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade $5.14B $6.47B $ 3.1B
2019-01-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade $4.56B $4.93B
2019-02-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade $1.34B $4.3B
2019-03-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade $1.34B $1.5B
2019-04-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade
2019-05-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade



South Korea Trade Surplus Smallest in 5 Years

South Korea’s trade surplus narrowed sharply to USD 1.34 billion in January of 2019 from USD 3.45 billion in the same month of the preceding year, a preliminary data showed. It was the smallest trade surplus since February 2014, as exports dropped by 5.8 percent year-on-year to USD 46.35 billion, while imports declined 1.7 percent to USD 45.02 billion.

Year-on-year, exports declined by 5.8 percent year-on-year to USD 46.35 billion in January, following a 1.3 percent fall in a month earlier while markets had expected a 7 percent drop. It marked the second straight month of decrease in outbound shipments and the steepest since September 2018, amid ongoing trade conflict between China and the US and lower prices of oil and semiconductors. Sales of memory chips tumbled 23.3 percent, as global tech firms postponed purchases for inventory control purposes. Also, exports dropped for petrochemicals (-5.3 percent) and petroleum products (-4.8 pct), amid a decline in crude oil prices. Conversely, exports advanced for secondary batteries (14.5 percent), automobile (13.4 percent), steel products (3.3 percent), and machinery products (1.7 percent).
Exports to China, South Korea's top trading partner, contracted 19.1 percent and marking the third straight month of fall, amid lower sales of memory chips and petrochemical products. In contrast, outbound shipments grew to the US (20.4 percent), the EU countries (11.9 percent) and the ASEAN countries (6.4 percent).
Imports fell 1.7 percent to USD 45.02 billion, reversing from a 1.2 percent rise in the previous month but far less than market consensus of a 5.3 percent drop. 


Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE) l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
2/1/2019 10:37:31 AM



South Korea Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade 1336.00 4342.47 13419.36 -4043.46 USD Million [+]
Current Account 4819.30 5223.60 12409.70 -3845.00 USD Million [+]
Current Account to GDP 5.60 7.00 10.70 -10.50 percent [+]
Imports 45016.00 44036.84 48477.71 38.61 USD Million [+]
Exports 46352.00 48379.31 55115.24 14.75 USD Million [+]
External Debt 449529.10 440543.60 452718.00 80766.40 USD Million [+]
Terms of Trade 98.90 97.90 237.00 86.10 Index Points [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 7698000.00 3448981.00 10819799.00 0.00 USD Thousand [+]
Capital Flows 5585.20 3861.80 12350.90 -3406.90 USD Million [+]
Tourism Revenues 1238700.00 1261800.00 1765400.00 326500.00 USD Million [+]
Tourist Arrivals 1324119.00 1350390.00 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 February of 2019.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
1336.00 4342.47 13419.36 -4043.46 1966 - 2019 USD Million Monthly




Country Last Previous
Argentina 372.00 Jan/19
Australia 3681.00 Dec/18
Brazil 2190.00 Jan/19
Canada -2060.10 Nov/18
China 391.60 Jan/19
Euro Area 16990.70 Dec/18
France -4653.00 Dec/18
Germany 13900.00 Dec/18
India -14730.00 Jan/19
Indonesia -1159.50 Jan/19
Italy 3658.00 Dec/18
Japan -1415.36 Jan/19
Mexico 1836.32 Dec/18
Netherlands 3572.00 Dec/18
Russia 18856.00 Dec/18
Saudi Arabia 184673.00 Sep/18
Singapore 2415.21 Jan/19
South Africa 17167.41 Dec/18
South Korea 1336.00 Jan/19
Spain -3247399.00 Dec/18
Switzerland 1388.18 Jan/19
Turkey -2674.41 Dec/18
United Kingdom -3229.00 Dec/18
United States -49313.00 Nov/18


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