S Korea Apr current account surplus down from Mar; exports weaker

30 May 2012 06:59  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s current account surplus fell to $1.78bn (€1.42bn) in April, from a revised $2.97bn in March, as key exports, including petrochemicals, fell amid weaker demand from China and the eurozone, the country’s central bank said on Wednesday.

On a year-on-year basis, the surplus was up by 39%, according to data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

Current account measures an economy’s trade in goods, services, tourism and investment with the rest of the world.

South Korea’s current account balance has remained in the black for the third straight month in April.

Meanwhile, the country’s goods account surplus in April fell by 39% month on month to $1.8bn, which is 46% lower compared with the same period last year, according to BOK data.

The smaller surplus in April this year was mainly due to the weak exports of oil products, semiconductors and telecommunications devices, it said.

South Korea’s overall exports fell 4.7% year on year to $46.3bn in April, while imports slipped by 0.2% to $44.1bn, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) in an earlier statement.

This resulted in a trade balance surplus of $2.2bn, down from the $2.3bn surplus in the previous month and almost half the $4.3bn surplus seen in April 2011, it said.

Overseas shipments to its key market – China – that accounted for 22.4% of South Korea’s total exports grew at a modest pace of 1.7% in April from the previous corresponding period, based on available data for the first 20 days of the month, according to MKE.

Its exports to the EU, meanwhile, fell by 16.7% year on year over the same period. The EU has 9.1% share in South Korea’s overall shipments, data from MKE showed.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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