S. Korea’s trade deficit tops $10bn in first 20 days of August

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South Korea’s trade deficit topped 10 billion dollars in the first 20 days of August due to faster growth in the import than export, customs office data showed on Monday.

The trade deficit reached 10.22 billion dollars in the Aug. 1-20 period, up from a deficit of 3.58 billion dollars tallied in the same period of last year, according to the Korea Customs Service.

The country has reported trade deficits in the past four months.

It has deficits of 2.48 billion dollars in April, 1.6 billion dollars in May, then 2.49 billion dollars in June, and 4.8 billion dollars in July.

Export added 3.9 per cent from a year earlier to 33.42 billion dollars for the first 20 days of this month, while imports surged 22.1 per cent to 43.64 billion dollars.

Import of the country’s three major energy sources crude oil, natural gas and coal totalled 12.49 billion dollars in the 20-day period, up 71.0 per cent from a year earlier.

Imports from Saudi Arabia almost doubled, while that from the European Union (EU), Japan and Russia declined in the cited period.

The export of oil products more than doubled, and that of automobiles and home appliances gained in double figures.

Semiconductor shipment shrank 7.5 per cent, and that for mobile devices and computers retreated to double digits.

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