Korea's Trade Deficit Keeps Mounting in May

  • By Jung Seok-woo

    May 12, 2022 09:37

    Korea's trade deficit swelled to US$3.7 billion in the first 10 days of this month, the Korea Customs Service said Wednesday. The country already suffered from the second consecutive month of trade deficits in April for the first time in 14 years.

    That means the cumulative trade deficit so far this year has reached $9.86 billion. Over the same period last year Korea enjoyed a healthy $7.92 billion trade surplus.


    According to KCS, Korea's exports during the first 10 days of this month totaled $16 billion, up 28.7 percent on-year, but imports increased at a faster clip, particularly energy, surging 34.7 percent to $19.8 billion.

    Coal imports surged 220 percent, crude oil 53.8 percent and gas 52.7 percent, semiconductors 26.3 percent, petroleum products 46.8 percent and machinery 16.2 percent.

    Korea shifted into a trade deficit last December for the first time in 20 months but returned to the black in February, only to suffer another trade deficit in March due to surging oil, gas and grain prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and supply-chain bottlenecks.

    If the crisis in Ukraine continues, Korea risks a trade deficit for the whole year.

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