South Korea’s Exports Rise Strongly in May, but Still Run Trade Deficit Due to High Energy Prices

South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy said on Tuesday (June 1) that South Korea’s exports rose 21.3% in May from a year ago on strong demand for chips and petroleum products. But South Korea still faces a trade deficit due to rising global energy prices.

Exports totaled $61.52 billion in May. This is up from $50.7 billion last year. This was the highest figure for May exports since records began in 1956, with the previous record set a year ago.

May was the 19th straight month that South Korea’s exports continued to expand year on year.

Imports increased 32% year on year to $63.22 billion as global energy prices rose. South Korea, therefore, recorded a trade deficit of $1.71 billion.

The South Korean government reported South Korea’s trade deficit in March based on preliminary information. However, the latest revised data showed a trade surplus of $210 million in March.

South Korea relies largely on imports to meet its energy needs, and the value of the country’s energy imports rose 84.4% year on year to $14.7 billion in May.

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