South Korea's trade surplus reduced in July to 2.76 billion U.S. dollars as exports resumed its minus growth amid global economic slowdown, customs office data showed Tuesday.
According to the report by the Korea Customs Service (KCS), the country's trade surplus reached 2.76 billion dollars in July, up from a preliminary figure of 2.70 billion dollars estimated earlier by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
The July reading was slightly revised up from the preliminary figure, but it was sharply down from a surplus of 4.65 billion dollars a year earlier and a surplus of 4.91 billion dollars the previous month.
Exports, which account for around half of the South Korean economy, tumbled 8.8 percent on-year to 44.64 billion dollars in July, while imports retreated 5.4 percent to 41.88 billion dollars over the same period.
The exports logged an on-year expansion of 1.1 percent in June after posting an on-year decline for three months to May, but the figure resumed its negative growth last month.
By item, outbound shipments of clothing, machinery and computers expanded 9.3 percent, 8.2 percent and 8.4 percent each on-year in July, but exports of ships, steel products and telecommunication devices plunged 58.3 percent, 17.7 percent and 24.8 percent respectively.
Exports to the Middle East and Australia grew 15.0 percent and 31.5 percent each over the cited period, but shipments to the Southeast Asia and the Latin American countries declined 11.4 percent and 29.5 percent respectively. Exports to China, European Union (EU) and Japan also contracted 5.2 percent, 9.8 percent and 1.2 percent each.
Imports of raw materials decreased 6.3 percent on-year in July due to the global economic slump, with inbound shipments of capital goods declining 5.5 percent.
For the first seven months of this year, exports reached 319.8 billion dollars, down 0.8 percent from the same period of last year. Imports expanded 1.3 percent to 306.3 billion dollars over the same period, sending the trade surplus to 13.5 billion dollars.