S. Korea’s Trade Deficit Hits Record High in January as Exports Fall
Seoul, February 01 (QNA) – South Korea’s exports logged a steeper on-year decline in January on weak demand for semiconductors and other items amid an economic slowdown, the industry ministry said Wednesday.
The country also suffered the largest ever monthly trade deficit on high energy prices last month, deepening concerns over the country’s economic growth momentum, according to South Korea’s (Yonhap) news agency.
Outbound shipments fell 16.6 percent on-year to come to US$46.27 billion in January, following a 9.5 percent on-year fall the previous month, according to the data compiled by the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
It is also the first time since 2020 that exports fell for four consecutive months.
Imports fell 2.6 percent on-year to $58.96 billion in January, resulting in a trade deficit of an all-time monthly high of $12.69 billion.
Imports have exceeded exports in South Korea since April last year, and it is the first time since 1997 that the country has suffered a trade deficit for 11 straight months.
South Korea depends on imports for most of its energy needs, and the country’s energy imports came to $15.8 billion in January, accounting for 26.8 percent of its total imports, the ministry said. (QNA)