Published : 2012-12-02 20:10
Updated : 2012-12-02 20:10
South Korea’s trade surplus widened in November from the previous month as exports posted positive growth on the back of steady global demand, the government said Saturday.
The country’s trade surplus came to $4.48 billion in November, compared with the surplus of $3.7 billion the previous month, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
The country’s exports grew 3.9 percent from the same month last year to $47.79 billion with imports gaining 0.7 percent on-year to $43.32 billion.
The export-import data came amid signs Asia’s fourth-largest economy is on a gradual recovery path, with the nation’s industrial production rising for a second month on greater demand for cars and semiconductor chips in November.
The Bank of Korea, the country’s central bank, has cut its key policy rate twice this year, although it froze the rate at 2.75 percent last month.
“The downturn in South Korea’s exports started to slow down in the third quarter, and it seems to turn around in the final quarter of the year,” a ministry official said. “We can find some signs of a recovery, but we have to wait add see for a while as the global economy is still in a slump.”
In November, shipments to the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations jumped 28.6 percent on-year, with exports to China rising 10.7 percent.
However, exports to the United States and the European Union fell 4 percent and 13.9 percent on-year, respectively, due to the regions’ fiscal crisis.
By industrial sector, shipments of information technology goods and auto parts led the gains, while the shipbuilding and machinery industries remained sluggish.
Exports of telecommunications devices, steel products and auto parts rose 25.3 percent, 15.3 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively, in November. But exports of ships plunged 47.4 percent from a year earlier, with shipments of machinery dipping 1.9 percent on-year.
The country’s cumulative trade volume came at $979.5 billion through November and it will reach the landmark $1 trillion in mid-December, a few days later than the country achieved the feat on Dec. 5 last year, said the ministry. (Yonhap News)