Trade surplus rising for industrial componentsKorea’s trade surplus in industrial components and materials rose 5.2 percent on-year in the first quarter of 2012, mainly due to a drop in imports, a government report showed yesterday.
The trade surplus reached $20.8 billion in the January-March period, compared with $19.8 billion a year earlier, according to the report by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
Imports of industrial components and materials contracted 2.9 percent on-year to $39.9 billion in the three-month period, while exports dipped 0.2 percent to $60.7 billion.
“Both exports and imports posted minus growth, but local demand for foreign goods fell more steeply,” a ministry official said.
Imports from Japan, a leading global supplier of parts and materials, reached $9.3 billion, or a 5.1 percent drop from the year before. The trade deficit with the neighboring country contracted 7.2 percent to just under $5.5 billion from over $5.9 billion in the first three months of 2011, the latest findings showed.
Inbound shipments from China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations also contracted from the previous year.
The ministry said exports to the United States surged 15.8 percent to $5.9 billion. Imports gained 10.6 percent to $4.6 billion for a surplus of $1.3 billion. It said the bilateral free trade agreement that went into effect on March 15 played a role in the trade increase. Yonhap