South Korea’s trade surplus decreased to USD 5.22 billion in March 2019 from USD 6.41 billion in the same month a year earlier, a preliminary data showed. Year-on-year, exports dropped by 8.2 percent to USD 47.11 billion, while imports declined 6.7 percent to USD 41.89 billion. Considering the first three months of 2019, the trade surplus narrowed to USD 9.31 billion from USD 12.63 billion in the corresponding period the prior year. Balance of Trade in South Korea averaged 1063.92 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 6440.00 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
2019-01-01 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 $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 $5.22B
2019-06-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade
2019-07-01 12:00 AM Balance of Trade



South Korea Trade Surplus Narrows in March

South Korea’s trade surplus decreased to USD 5.22 billion in March 2019 from USD 6.41 billion in the same month a year earlier, a preliminary data showed. Year-on-year, exports dropped by 8.2 percent to USD 47.11 billion, while imports declined 6.7 percent to USD 41.89 billion.

Year-on-year, exports shrank 8.2 percent to USD 47.11 billion in March, following an upwardly revised 11.4 percent fall in February which was the steepest decline in three years, while markets expected a 8.7 percent drop. The decrease in last month’s exports was mostly due to combined effects of external risks and cyclical factors, including slowing global economy, trade dispute between US and China and growing protectionism. Sales of memory chips contracted 16.6 percent, as global demand for smartphone slowed on low seasonal demand. Also, exports dropped for petrochemicals (-10.7 percent), amid increased supply from the US. In contrast, sales increased for ships (5.4 percent), namely drill ships and liquefied natural gas carriers; plastic (3.6 percent); and biotechnology products (13 percent), mostly due to pharmaceuticals and medical devices.  Exports to China, South Korea's top trading partner, shrank 15.5 pct, and to Japan declined 12.8 pct, due to declining demand of semiconductors and steel. By contrast, exports to the US grew 4 pct, mainly driven by automobile, machinery and petrochemical products.

Imports declined by  6.7 percent to USD 41.89 billion, worse than market estimates of a 4.9 percent fall and after a 12.6 percent decline in a month earlier.

Considering the first three months of 2019, the trade surplus narrowed to USD 9.31 billion from USD 12.63 billion in the corresponding period the prior year.



Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
4/1/2019 10:36:52 AM



South Korea Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade 5222.00 2963.60 13419.36 -4043.46 USD Million [+]
Current Account 3601.90 2824.90 12409.70 -3845.00 USD Million [+]
Current Account to GDP 4.70 4.90 10.70 -10.50 percent [+]
Imports 41890.00 36466.00 48480.62 38.61 USD Million [+]
Exports 47110.00 39440.00 55115.24 14.75 USD Million [+]
External Debt 440598.50 449529.10 452718.00 80766.40 USD Million [+]
Terms of Trade 95.90 97.50 237.00 86.10 Index Points [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 3173570.00 7698000.00 10819799.00 0.00 USD Thousand [+]
Capital Flows 3418.80 2973.80 12350.90 -3406.90 USD Million [+]
Tourism Revenues 1107900.00 1085300.00 1765400.00 326500.00 USD Million [+]
Tourist Arrivals 1201802.00 1104803.00 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 April of 2019.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
5222.00 2963.60 13419.36 -4043.46 1966 - 2019 USD Million Monthly




Country Last Previous
Argentina 460.00 Feb/19
Australia 4801.00 Feb/19
Brazil 4990.00 Mar/19
Canada -2894.80 Feb/19
China 326.47 Mar/19
Euro Area 17938.00 Feb/19
France -4002.00 Feb/19
Germany 17900.00 Feb/19
India -10890.00 Mar/19
Indonesia 540.20 Mar/19
Italy 3267.83 Feb/19
Japan 528.50 Mar/19
Mexico 1222.00 Feb/19
Netherlands 5130.00 Feb/19
Russia 15671.00 Feb/19
Saudi Arabia 180059.00 Dec/18
Singapore 3615.50 Mar/19
South Africa 3990.00 Feb/19
South Korea 5222.00 Mar/19
Spain -4483276.00 Jan/19
Switzerland 2494.00 Mar/19
Turkey -2134.33 Feb/19
United Kingdom -4860.00 Feb/19
United States -49382.00 Feb/19


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