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S. Korea's exports down 16.6% in January; trade deficit hits record high

By Yonhap

Published : Feb. 1, 2023 - 09:26

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(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

South Korea's exports logged an on-year decline for the fourth consecutive month in January on weak global 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.

Outbound shipments fell 16.6 percent on-year to come to $46.27 billion in January, following a 9.5 percent on-year fall the previous month, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

It is the first time since early 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. (Yonhap)