Seoul: South Korea's exports rose nearly 4 per cent year-on-year on August 20, but posted a trade deficit of more than USD 10 billion as imports also increased by 20 per cent.
It is highly likely to post a trade deficit in August. The monthly trade balance is expected to post a deficit for 5 consecutive months in about 14 years. According to the Korea Customs Service on the 22nd, Korea's exports during the first 20 days of August were $33.424 billion, up 3.9% year-on-year.
There were 15.5 working days from August 1 to 20, 0.5 days more than last year (15 days). The average daily exports increased by 0.5 per cent.
By item, exports of petroleum products (109.3 per cent), passenger cars (22.0 per cent), ships (15.4 per cent), auto parts (8.9 per cent), and home appliances (15.0 per cent) increased year-on-year.
On the other hand, semiconductors, Korea's main export item, fell 7.5 per cent. If semiconductor exports decrease this month from a year ago, it will be the first time in 2 years and 2 months since June 2020.
Exports of wireless communication devices (-24.6 per cent), computer accessories (-32.8 per cent), precision machines (-1.3 per cent), and steels (-0.5 per cent) also fell.
By country, exports to the U.S. (0.8 per cent), Europe (19.8 per cent), Vietnam (2.2 per cent), and Singapore (115.7 per cent) increased, while exports to China (-11.2%), Japan (-6.3 per cent), and Hong Kong (-45.0 per cent) decreased.
Imports from August 1 to 20 were USD 43.641 billion, up 22.1 per cent year-on-year.
The growth rate of imports has continued to exceed the growth rate of exports for 14 consecutive months from June last year.
By item, imports of oil (54.1 per cent), semiconductors (24.1 per cent), gas (80.4 per cent), coals (143.4 per cent), and automobiles (44.3 per cent) increased.