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South Korea's trade surplus narrows on surprise import acceleration

South Korea's trade surplus narrows on surprise import acceleration

South Korea's trade surplus unexpectedly narrowed in April as imports accelerated on increases in international oil prices and natural resource costs, the government said Tuesday.
The country's trade surplus narrowed 27 percent to US$799 million (euro585 million) in from US$1.10 billion a year earlier, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said in a statement. The figures are preliminary.
Exports rose 17.8 percent to US$30.15 billion (euro22.1 billion), while imports jumped 19.9 percent to US$29.35 billion (euro21.5 billion), the figures showed.
A survey of eight economists by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast the trade surplus to rise to US$1.35 billion (euro989 million).
Exports were boosted by strong global demand for semiconductors, automobiles, steel products and machinery, the ministry said.
"Exports maintained double-digit growth due to an increase in export volume, helped by global economic growth and a rise in exports by small and medium-sized firms," the ministry said.
Also boosting import growth were indications of a recovery in capital investment, the won appreciation against the dollar and improvement in consumer sentiment.
"The government will analyze the cause of the increase in imports of natural resources and capital goods to closely monitor changing trends in the trade balance," the ministry said.


Updated : 2021-04-17 11:22 GMT+08:00