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S. Korea’s trade balance with China is in the black in 17 months

S. Korea’s trade balance with China is in the black in 17 months

Posted March. 02, 2024 07:47,   

Updated March. 02, 2024 07:47


South Korea’s trade balance with China, which accounts for approximately 20 percent of South Korea’s total trade, is in the black again for the first time in 17 months. With an over 60 percent increase in the export of semiconductors, a key export item of South Korea, from a year ago, the overall export amount rose for five consecutive months. With the revived semiconductor industry, the country’s exports are expected to continue to record surplus.

According to the import and export trade data released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Friday, South Korea’s trade balance with China recorded 240 million dollars, or about 320.9 billion won, in February. The trade balance has been in the red since September 2022. Last year was the first year that the annual trade balance with China recorded a deficit for the first time since 1992, when the two countries established diplomatic relations. The positive upturn in the trade balance was largely led by the recovery of semiconductor exports, which increased by 26.7 percent between January 1 and January 25. However, the overall export to China stood at 9,650 million dollars due to the Chinese New Year, down by 2.4 percent compared to the previous year.

The total semiconductor export was 9.9 billion dollars, which is 66.7 percent higher than the previous year and shows the biggest increase since October 2017, when it grew by 69.6 percent. In particular, the export of memory semiconductors more than doubled. The increase was attributed to greater global demand for high-value-added memory, such as high bandwidth memory, due to the expansion of artificial intelligence and increased demand for new PCs and mobile phones.

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