South Korea logged a trade surplus with the European Union (EU) in August thanks to rebounding exports, marking a turnaround from a deficit in the previous month under a free trade deal, customs data showed Friday.
The free trade agreement between South Korea and the EU went into effect on July 1. Under the deal, both sides will eliminate or phase out tariffs on 96 percent of EU goods and 99 percent of South Korean goods within three years after the accord takes effect.
According to the data by the Korea Customs Service, South Korea's trade surplus with the EU amounted to US$130 million last month.
The nation's exports to the EU rose 15 percent on-year to $4.31 billion last month, while imports to the region gained 19 percent to $4.18 billion over the same period, the data showed.
This marked a turnaround from the previous month's deficit of $190 million, the first shortfall that the nation has posted with the region since 2000 when monthly trade figures started to be compiled.In July, exports remained weak due to less demand from European countries amid heightened market uncertainty caused by spreading fiscal concerns.
The August figure still remained far below the surplus of $245 million reported during the same month a year earlier, according to the data.The latest trade balance had remained in the red almost throughout August but settlement of ship sales was made later in the month, helping it end in positive territory, industry experts said.