South Korea's trade surplus rebounded to 4.1 billion U.S. dollars in October due to brisk exports to emerging nations, the customs office said Tuesday.
Trade surplus reached 4.1 billion dollars in October, up from 1.3 billion dollars tallied in the previous month, the Korea Customs Service (KCS) said in a statement by e-mail.
For the first 10 months of this year, the accumulative trade surplus amounted to 25.9 billion dollars, down from 34.5 billion dollars tallied in the same period of last year.
The country's trade balance has been in the black for 21 straight months in October despite Europe's debt crisis and economic slowdown in advanced nations.
Exports grew 8 percent on-year to reach 46.8 billion dollars last month helped by solid demand for petroleum products, cars and steel products that jumped by 31.1 percent, 16.9 percent and 16.2 percent on an on-year basis respectively.
In contrast, overseas shipments of mobile communication devices, ships and semiconductors contracted 24.1 percent, 11.2 percent and 4.4 percent each in October from a year earlier, according to the report.
By country, overseas shipments to Japan and the Southeast Asian countries increased by 24.7 percent and 19.4 percent each on- year in October, while exports bound for China grew 14.6 percent on-year to reach a record high of 11.9 billion dollars last month.
Exports to European Union (EU) and the United States, however, shrank 20.3 percent and 3.6 percent respectively on-year last month amid lingering concerns over the European fiscal crisis and the possible global economic downturn.
Meanwhile, imports expanded 15.6 percent on-year to 42.8 billion dollars in October due to continued increase in raw material costs, but the on-year growth hit the lowest in two years as inbound shipments of capital goods contracted for the first time in 25 months, according to the office.
Imports of capital goods decreased 3.9 percent on-year in October due to weaker imports of semiconductor equipment, display panel equipment and mobile communication devices that contracted 15.6 percent, 83.3 percent and 18 percent respectively.
Inbound shipments of raw materials continued its growth trend. The on-year import growth of crude oil, gas and coal reached 52.8 percent, 46.9 percent and 10.7 percent respectively last month.