January 29, 2020 12:44
Korea's chronic trade deficit with Japan fell to the lowest level in 16 years last year due to a boycott here after Japan imposed export curbs on high-tech materials.
According to the Korea Customs Service on Tuesday, Korea's trade deficit with Japan stood at US$19.16 billion last year, the lowest since 2003's $19.03 billion.
Korea imported $47.57 billion worth of products from Japan, down 12.9 percent from the year before, accounting for 9.5 percent of Korea's total imports. Exports to Japan totaled $30.53 billion, down 6.9 percent.
A Korea Customs Service staffer said, "Imports of semiconductor manufacturing equipment dropped sharply following Japan's export ban, narrowing the trade deficit."
Last July, Japan made it difficult for Korean businesses to import three key materials used to manufacture microchips.
Meanwhile, Korea achieved a record trade surplus with Hong Kong last year of $30.14 billion as well as a $28.99 billion surplus with China and a $27.16 billion surplus with Vietnam.
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