S.Korea July exports grow at faster pace, trade deficit widens

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International Business News – South Korea’s exports grew at a faster annual pace in July than a month earlier, trade ministry data showed on Monday, while the trade deficit widened to the biggest in six months.

Exports rose 9.4% in July from a year earlier to $60.70 billion, matching the forecast in a Reuters poll, after a 5.2% rise in the previous month.

The stronger exports growth provides some relief to policymakers as they look to contain rising inflation derailing an economic recovery.

Imports gained 21.8% to $65.37 billion, faster than 19.4% a month earlier and 20.7% seen in the survey.

The result was a $4.67 billion trade deficit, marking the biggest in six months and fourth straight monthly deficit in a row.

Shipments to the United States gained 14.6% from a year earlier, following 12.2% rise in June, to the biggest monthly amount on record. Exports to the European Union also added 14.6%, a welcome sign for Korea’s globe-trotting manufacturers facing pressure from a slowing world economy.

Sales to China, which has been hit by outbreaks of COVID in recent months, fell for a second month by 2.5%.

By products, exports of semiconductors grew 2.1%, petroleum products surged 86.5%, and cars advanced 25.3%.

There were 23.5 working days in June, compared with 24.5 a year earlier.