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South Korea's trade surplus grows

Posted on Nov 14, 03:39PM | IANS

South Korea's trade surplus grew to USD 3.73 billion last month due to an export rebound that offset a rise in imports, customs data showed Wednesday.

According to the Korea Customs Service (KCS), the country's trade surplus reached USD 3.73 billion in October, up from a revised surplus of USD 2.91 billion for September, reported Xinhua.

The figure was slightly down from a preliminary figure of USD 3.8 billion estimated earlier by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, but the trade balance stayed in the black for nine months in a row.

The October surplus growth was attributable to strong demand for South Korean products from China that led the export rebound.

Exports, which account for around half of the South Korean economy, expanded 1.1 percent on-year to USD 47.15 billion in October, marking the first rebound in four months.

Shipments to China, South Korea's No.1 trading partner, grew 5.6 percent on-year in October, topping the USD 12 billion level for the first time. Those to the Southeast Asian nations and the European Union (EU) increased 10.2 percent and 2 percent, but exports to the US declined 3.5 percent last month.

Imports increased 1.7 percent on-year to USD 43.42 billion in October, the first rebound in eight months. The rebound was attributed to demand for automobiles and home appliances that jumped 37.3 percent and 7 percent each.

For the first 10 months of this year, exports reached USD 455.4 billion, down 1.3 percent from the same period of last year. Imports fell 0.7 percent to USD 433.1 billion over the same period, sending the trade surplus to USD 22.3 billion.