The Bank of Korea announced on Jan. 27 that the U.S. dollar-based import settlement decreased by 0.7 percentage points from the previous quarter to 83.8 percent in the last quarter of 2014. The percentage, which is the lowest in five quarters, is due in part to the recent decline in international oil prices.
The percentage fell to 83.7 percent in the third quarter of 2013 and rose to 84.1 percent and 85.1 percent in the following quarters. However, it dropped again to 83.9 percent in the second quarter of 2014. In the meantime, the international oil price dropped 29.2 percent year-on-year to US$77 per barrel in the fourth quarter of last year.
The euro-based import settlement edged up by 0.2 percentage points to 5.8 percent in Q4 2014. The yen and won-based import settlement went up from 4.9 percent to 5 percent and from 3.9 percent to 4.2 percent during the period, respectively. The yuan-based one remained at 0.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar-based export settlement reached a 17 quarter high of 86.3 percent in Q4, 2014. The percentage has increased for five quarters in a row from 84.6 percent to 84.9, 85.8, 86.2, and 86.3 percent.
The central bank explained that the ratio rose on the back of increased exports to the United States. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Korea’s export to the United States showed a rate of increase of 2.6 percent in Q1, 2014 and 13, 15, and 22.3 percent in the following quarters. The euro and yuan-based export settlement increased from 5.1 to 5.3 percent and from 0.4 to 0.5 percent, while the yen and won-based export settlement decreased by 0.1 percentage points each to 3 and 2.2 percent.