South Korea’s trade balance turns into blackMarch 1st, 2012 - 2:48 pm ICT by IANS
Seoul, March 1 (IANS) South Korea’s trade balance turned into the black last month as exports recovered its growth trend despite lingering concerns over Europe’s debt crisis and the global economic slowdown, a government report showed Thursday.
Trade surplus reached $2.2 billion in February, a turnaround from a revised deficit of $2.03 billion in January, and up from a surplus of $2.07 billion tallied in the same month of last year, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
For the first two months of this year, the surplus stood at $165 million, reported Xinhua.
The trade balance shifted back into the black last month after posting a deficit for the first time in 24 months in January. Exports, which account for more than half of the Asia’s No.4 economy, recovered its growth trend after recording the first decline in 27 months in January.
Exports came in at $47.2 billion in February, up 22.7 percent from a year earlier. It was a turnaround from a 7 percent on-year contraction tallied in the previous month. For the first two months of this year, exports grew 6.8 percent on an on-year basis.
Imports expanded 23.6 percent on-year to $45 billion in February. For the first two months of this year, imports advanced 12.7 percent from the previous year.
Despite unfavourable trade conditions caused by rising oil prices, export recovery helped South Korea get back into a surplus last month.
Auto exports were boosted by growing business days as the Lunar New Year holiday moved to January this year from February last year, while outbound shipment of ships increased due to strong demand for high value-added ships such as drill ships, according to the ministry.
Demand for locally-made automobiles surged 60.2 percent on-year in February, with those of steel products, petroleum products and general machinery jumping by 44.4 percent, 41.9 percent and 37.1 percent respectively. Exports of ships grew 9.6 percent.
In contrast, overseas shipments of telecommunication devices dropped 32.6 percent on-
year in February, and exports of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels decreased by 2.6 percent.
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Tags: auto exports, contraction, debt crisis, drill ships, export recovery, general machinery, global economic slowdown, government report, growth trend, knowledge economy, lunar new year, petroleum products, rising oil prices, south korea, steel products, trade balance, trade surplus, xinhua, year exports, year imports