S.Korea August export growth slows, trade deficit hits record

By Thomson Reuters Aug 31, 2022 | 7:37 PM

By Jihoon Lee

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s export growth slowed in August while imports accelerated, widening the trade deficit to a record amount, trade ministry data showed on Thursday.

Outbound shipments grew 6.6% in August from the same month a year earlier, beating 5.5% tipped in a Reuters poll of analysts but slower than a 9.2% rise in July.

Imports jumped 28.2%, much faster than 21.8% in the previous month and 22.9% tipped in the survey.

That brought the trade balance to a $9.47 billion deficit, nearly double the previous month’s $4.80 billion, marking a fifth consecutive month in red and the biggest monthly amount on record.

By destination, shipments to the United States and European Union gained 13.7% and 7.3%, respectively, but those to China were down 5.4%, extending losses to a third month.

Sales of petroleum products surged 113.6% and cars rose 35.9%, while the country’s biggest-selling item, semiconductors, fell 7.8%.

(Reporting by Jihoon Lee; Editing by Christopher Cushing)