Korea posted a record current account surplus with China in 2010 as exports to the world’s fastest-growing economy hit an all-time high, the central bank said Tuesday.
Korea’s current account surplus with China reached $52.8 billion last year, compared with a $37.9 billion surplus in 2009, according to the Bank of Korea.
It marked the largest surplus since 1998 when the BOK began to compile related data. For all of 2010, the country’s current account surplus stood at $28.2 billion.
“Solid growth of the Chinese economy raised demand for Korean goods,” an official at the BOK said.
Korea’s exports to China reached a record high of $120.3 billion in 2010, up from $89.3 billion seen in the previous year.
Korea’s total overseas shipments reached an all-time high of $466.4 billion last year.
Meanwhile, Korea’s current account shortfall with the Middle East widened last year due to a hike in oil imports, the BOK said.
Korea’s current account deficit with the region reached $46.7 billion last year, up from a $28.2 billion shortfall in 2009, the bank noted. Korea is the world’s fifth-largest crude oil buyer.
Korea also posted a record current account shortfall with Japan due to its chronic heavy reliance on part imports from its neighboring country.
Korea’s current account shortfall with Japan came in at $33.3 billion in 2010, up from a deficit of $23.8 billion tallied in 2009.
The eurozone debt crisis also led Korea to log a smaller current account surplus with the European Union in 2010 from the previous year, the BOK said.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy logged a surplus with the EU worth¡¡$1.86 billion last year, down from $5.8 billion in 2009.