Trade breaks $1 trillion for the fourth straight year

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Trade breaks $1 trillion for the fourth straight year

Trade volume has exceeded $1 trillion in 2014 for the fourth consecutive year, despite external difficulties such as the weak yen and overall slowdown in global trade, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced Monday.

Korea this year surpassed $1 trillion on Saturday afternoon, the earliest ever by eight days. On Nov. 28, the country recorded cumulative exports of $52 billion and imports of $48 billion.

The ministry said it expects to see the total trade volume reach $1.1 trillion by the end of the year, with total exports of $57.5 billion and imports of $53 billion.

“By the end of the year, Korea is likely to break records for the second straight year in three categories: trade volume, exports and trade surplus,” said Kwon Pyung-oh, deputy minister for international trade and investment, at a press briefing Monday. “It was a fruitful result, considering the difficult conditions.”

In November, exports contracted 1.9 percent year-on-year to $47 billion.

The ministry explained this was influenced by low oil prices. Korean exports to China in November retreated 3.2 percent, largely due to lower prices for petrochemical and refined oil products.

Kwon said imports this year shrank mainly because the price of raw materials, which account for almost 60 percent of imports, dropped.

The ministry forecast that cheaper oil and the recovering U.S. economy are good signs for exports next year.

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