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Nov. Exports Suffer Biggest Monthly Drop in 7 Years

Posted December. 02, 2008 03:38,   


Exports in November fell 18.3 percent from a year ago, the biggest drop since a plunge of 20.4 percent in December 2001.

Imports decreased 14.6 percent last month, however, resulting in a trade surplus (297 million U.S. dollars) for the second straight month.

A report by the Knowledge Economy Ministry released yesterday said export volume reached 29.262 billion dollars and that of imports 28.965 billion dollars. Exports declined for the first time in 14 months due to the global economic slowdown.

Korea’s 13 major exports items all saw overseas shipments decline with the exception of ships, whose exports grew a robust 35 percent.

By export destination, Korea’s exports to all global markets except for the Middle East fell for the first 20 days of November. Those to Middle Eastern nations jumped 30.6 percent over the same period. Notably, Korean exports to China, Korea’s biggest export market, nosedived 27.8 percent.

Over the first 11 months of this year, Korea recorded a trade deficit of 13.343 billion dollars. The country posted a surplus of 1.212 billion dollars in October and 297 million dollars last month, something which should help Korea improve its trade and current account balances.

Jeong Jae-hoon, trade policy director at the ministry, said, “Korea’s trade deficit will exceed 10 billion dollars this year.”

This year’s estimated trade deficit is larger than 8.45 billion dollars recorded in 1997.

cha@donga.com abc@donga.com