SEOUL – South Korea’s trade surplus fell 27.9 percent year-on-year in November to $3.37 billion, making it the 12th consecutive month of falling exports for Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
However, November was also the 94th straight month of positive trade balance in the country.
South Korea’s exports in November stood at $44.1 billion, a drop of 14.3 percent over the same month last year, according to data published by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Sunday.
On the other hand, imports decreased by 13 percent to stand at $40.73 billion in the second last month of the year.
The weakening of prices of semiconductors and petrochemical products – the country’s main export items – was behind the slump.
The prolonged trade dispute between China and the United States – South Korea’s top two trading partners – also continues to adversely affect exports, which account for roughly half of South Korea’s GDP.
South Korea’s exports to China and the US in November declined 12.2 percent and 8.3 percent year-on-year respectively.
Exports to Japan, another major trading partner, fell 10.9 percent due to worsening relations on account of historical differences between the two neighbors.