The current account balance ran in a surplus of $880 million last October, maintaining a surplus for two consecutive months, but only about 1/10 of the same period last year. The balance of goods returned to deficit within a month.
According to interim balance of payments statistics released by the Bank of Korea on Oct. 9, the current account balance for October was recorded as a surplus of $880 million (about 1.16 trillion won). It is $700 million lower than in September ($1.58 billion) and $7.13 billion lower than the same period last year ($8.01 billion).
The cumulative current account surplus from January to October this year was $24.99 billion, but it was down $50.43 billion from the same period last year ($75.42 billion). .
The current account balance entered a deficit in April after holding a surplus for 23 consecutive months from May 2020 to March this year. This is due to the increase in income and the overlap of foreign dividends.
It turned into a surplus in May a month later, but ran a $3.05 billion deficit again in August and returned to a surplus in September.
By category, the balance of goods recorded a deficit of $1.48 billion in October. The balance of goods recorded a surplus of 470 million dollars in September, went into surplus in three months, and then returned to deficit again, with a decrease of 7.58 billion dollars compared to a year ago (6.1 billions of dollars).
Exports ($52.59 billion) decreased by 6% ($3.36 billion) compared to last October, while imports ($54.07 billion) increased by 8.55 ($4.22 billions of dollars). Exports fell for the second consecutive month after declining year-over-year in September for the first time in 23 months. Due to the slowdown in the global economy, the performance of semiconductors (-16.4%) and industrial chemicals (-13.4%) was slow and, by region, exports to China (-15.7% ) and Japan (-13.1%) decreased.
Imports ($54.07 billion) increased 8.5% ($4.22 billion) from a year ago. Based on customs clearance, imports of raw materials increased by 9.9% compared to the same month last year. Among commodities, imports of gas, coal and crude oil (customs clearance basis) increased by 79.8%, 40.2% and 24.2%, respectively. Imports of capital goods such as transportation equipment (23.0%) and semiconductors (20.4%) also increased by 10.9%, and imports of consumer goods such as automobiles (39.6%) and grains (19 .9%) increased by 7.9%.
The service account had a $50 million surplus. It’s down $590 million from last October ($640 million). Although the transport balance remained in surplus ($1.38 billion), the travel balance recorded a $540 million deficit after September.
The primary income account had a surplus of $2.26 billion and the transfer income account had a surplus of $50 million.
Financial accounts net assets (assets-liabilities) increased $2.53 billion in October.