From the beginning to the 10th of this month, the trade balance has logged a deficit of 3.825 billion dollars, leading to an accumulated trade deficit of 30 billion dollars this year. As semiconductor and China-facing exports declined, exports during the same time plunged more than 20 percent from a year earlier.
According to the Korea Customs Service on Tuesday, exports for the first 10 days this month (provisional based on customs clearance) were 11.797 billion dollars, down 20.2 percent from a year ago. Although the number of working days was five days, only 0.5 days less than the same period last year (5.5 days), the average daily export amount decreased by 12.2 percent. If this month's exports diminish, exports will turn to decline for the first time in two years since October 2020. By item, exports of semiconductors, flagship export products, fell 20.6 percent year-on-year, and exports to China, Korea's largest trading partner, fell 23.4 percent by export country.
The accumulated trade deficit from the beginning of this year to the 10th of this month stood at 32.714 billion dollars. On an annual basis, the deficit is 12.09 billion dollars more than the largest trade deficit recorded in the history of 20.62 billion dollars in 1996. If the current trend continues, it is highly likely to record an annual trade deficit for the first time in 14 years since 2008 (13.267 billion dollars) during the global financial crisis.
"The economic recovery has been limited as exports continue to be sluggish, mainly in semiconductors due to the worsening of external conditions," the Korea Development Institute (KDI) said in the "October Economic Trends" on the same day.
Hye-Ryung Choi email@example.com