South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said export sales in July rose 9.4% year-on-year to $60.70 billion, following a 5.2% increase in June.
Imports rose 21.8% in July to $65.37 billion. After growing 19.4% in June, South Korea recorded a trade deficit of $4.67 billion in July. This is the highest deficit in 6 months and the sixth consecutive month.
Strong export growth has helped ease the South Korean government’s concerns in its effort to curb inflation, which is hurting the economic recovery.
Exports to the United States rose 14.6% in July, the strongest increase ever, following a 12.2% increase in June.
At the same time, exports to the EU increased by 14.6%, a positive sign for South Korean manufacturers, who are under pressure from the slowing global economy.
However, exports to China fell by 2.5%, the second consecutive month of decline, due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in recent months.
Exports of semiconductors increased by 2.1%, exports of petroleum products by 86.5% and exports of motor vehicles by 25.3%.