South Korea's July exports grow at faster pace, trade deficit widens

South Korea’s July exports grow at faster pace, trade deficit widens

Shipping containers stacked in the container terminal at Busan Port on November 5, 2021. Busan Port, located in the southeast of the Korean peninsula, plays the role of a gateway to the Asian continent in the Pacific Ocean.

Chung Sung-jun | Getty Images News | Getty Images

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.

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