Korea’s exports have switched to a downturn in three months.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said on Jan. 1, exports totaled US$48.46 billion in December, a drop of 1.2 percent year on year.
Korea’s exports surpassed US$50 billion for seven consecutive months from May to November before falling below US$50 billion in December.
Imports rose 0.9 percent to US$43.91 billion, creating a trade surplus of US$4.56 billion. Korea’s surplus streak was extended to 83 months.
Korea renewed its export record last year. Its annual export volume reached a record high of US$605.5 billion, the first time in 70 years since Korea began to export in 1948.
Imports also hit a record high of US$535 billion, boosting the nation’s trade volume to a new high of US$1,14 0.5 billion.
The trade balance yielded a surplus of US$70.5 billion in 2018, thanks to brisk exports to the United States, China, the ASEAN nations, Vietnam and India. Korea achieved an annual surplus for the tenth consecutive year.