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Trade Surplus Hits 10th Straight Month in Nov.

Posted December. 02, 2009 07:52,   


Exports and imports last month rose year-on-year for the first time in a year, resulting in the tenth straight month of trade surplus at 4.05 billion dollars.

The Knowledge Economy Ministry yesterday said exports rose 18.8 percent to 34.27 billion dollars and imports grew 4.7 percent to 30.22 billion dollars last month. Exports and imports had declined year-on-year basis between November last year and October this year, but began rising in November in coming out from recessionary surpluses.

A recessionary surplus is the result of a trade balance that finishes in the black despite exports and imports declining, a phenomenon that occurred in Korea in this year’s first quarter.

A ministry official said, “Exports of information technology soared, and in particular, the Chinese market is leading Korea’s export recovery,” adding, “A rise in imports means consumer confidence has been restored.”

A relatively low volume of exports and imports in November last year contributed to the rises last month. The eruption of the global financial crisis dealt a huge blow to exports and imports in November last year.

Exports of cars fell 13.7 percent and those of machinery dipped 7.7 percent last month, but all other export items saw outbound shipments soar. Exports of semiconductors shot up 80.7 percent, those of liquid crystal devices 66.8 percent, car parts 50.7 percent, and petrochemical products 47.8 percent.

By region, exports to China and Southeast Asia rose the most last month. Shipments to advanced economies including the U.S., Japan and Europe began rebounding.

Imports of raw materials such as oil, natural gas and coal declined in Korea but those for petrochemical products went up 80.8 percent. In consumer goods, increases in imports for cars (38.6 percent), shoes (18.2 percent), and daily necessities (11.2 percent) led the overall rise in import volume.

The ministry forecast that Korea will break the barrier of 40 billion dollars in this year’s trade surplus. This is quite possible because the surplus between January and November this year was 37.8 billion dollars, the highest in the country’s history.