South Korea reports worst trade deficit in 25 years on global slowdown

2022. 12. 1. 14:27
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South Korea reported eight straight months of trade deficit in November, the worst performance since 1997, as demand slowed in key overseas markets, data showed on Thursday.

Outbound shipments from Asia’s fourth-largest economy slumped 14.0 percent from a year ago to $51.91 billion last month, the first decline in two years since a 3.9 percent drop in October 2020, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement.

This is the first consecutive decrease of more than two months since March-August 2020 when Covid-19 spread across the world.

Imports for the month rose 2.7 percent to $58.93 billion, leading to a monthly trade deficit of $7.01 billion. It means the country’s eighth consecutive month in the red since April, the worst record in 25 years.

However, exports for the first 11 months this year amounted to $629.1 billion, up 7.8 percent from the same period last year, exceeding the $600 billion mark in November for the first time ever.

Exports in November were affected by multiple factors, such as the prolonged war between Russia and Ukraine, global economic slowdown following monetary tightening in major countries and truckers’ strike in Korea, the ministry said.

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