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Korea Achieves Consecutive Monthly Surpluses with $3.8 Billion in November Trade Balance

Korea's November trade surplus hits $3.8 billion, propelled by a 7.8% rise in exports and notable turnarounds in semiconductor, biohealth, and secondary batteries
South Korea
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In a positive economic development, Korea’s trade balance for November showcased a surplus of $3.8 billion, marking the second consecutive month of ‘export plus’ growth, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s ‘Export and Import Trends for November 2023’ report released on the 1st.

The robust performance was driven by a 7.8% increase in exports compared to the same period last year, totaling $55.8 billion, while imports experienced a notable 11.6% decrease, amounting to $52 billion. Both export figures and the trade balance reached their peak for the year.

Semiconductor exports, Korea’s largest export item, demonstrated a significant upswing, registering a 12.9% increase to $9.5 billion—a positive trend observed for the first time in 16 months. Other sectors contributing to this growth included petrochemicals (+5.9%), biohealth (+18.8%), and secondary batteries (+23.4%), all experiencing positive momentum after 18, 17, and 8 months, respectively. Key sectors like automobiles (+21.5%), general machinery (+14.1%), home appliances (+14.1%), ships (+38.5%), and displays (+5.9%) sustained positive export trends for consecutive months.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Bang-gyu Bang expressed satisfaction with the strengthened upward momentum in exports, highlighting the achievement of a ‘triple plus’: consecutive months of export growth, six consecutive months of trade balance surplus, and a positive turn in semiconductor exports. Minister Bang affirmed confidence in the continuation of the upward export trend beyond the current year, emphasizing support to fuel sustained economic growth.

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