Korea recorded a trade surplus for the 22nd straight month in November despite sluggish exports growth.
According to data compiled by the Korea Customs Service on December 15, Korea’s exports amounted to US$47.80 billion last month, up 0.2 percent from the same month a year ago, while imports dropped to US$43.11 billion, down 0.6 percent from a year earlier.
Consequently, Korea’s trade surplus reached US$4.80 billion last month, marking 22 straight months of surplus since February last year. During the January-November period this year, its cumulative trade surplus jumped to US$40.5 billion.
By product, exports of ships, home appliances and mobile communications equipment rose 31.6 percent, 9.6 percent, and 8.7 percent in November, respectively. Those of steel and liquid crystal display products, however, dropped 17.2 percent and 14.0 percent.
By country, exports to Australia, the EU, China, and the US rose 29.1 percent, 6.5 percent, 9.7 percent, and 3.7 percent, respectively, over the same period, while shipments to Southeast Asian countries, the Middle East, and Japan declined 11.9 percent, 10.7 percent, and 6.6 percent each.
Inbound shipments of low materials decreased 4.3 percent, including crude oil (-8.6 percent) while those of cars and machinery increased 48.2 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively.