By Kwanwoo Jun
South Korea’s exports fell in October for the first time in two years on weak global demand, as the country posted a trade deficit for seven months in a row.
Exports fell 5.7% from a year earlier to $52.48 billion following September’s revised 2.7% rise, according to preliminary data released by the trade ministry in Seoul on Tuesday.
That marked the country’s first year-over-year decline for monthly shipments overseas since October 2020 and showed a sharper drop than market expectations for a 2.1% fall.
Demand for semiconductors and petrochemicals was sluggish, as exports to China, the country’s largest trade partner, declined sharply from a year earlier.
Imports increased 9.9% from a year earlier to $59.18 billion after a 18.6% gain in September, resulting in a trade deficit of $6.70 billion.
Having booked a trade deficit every month since April, South Korea is headed for its first annual trade deficit in 13 years.
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