Trade volume is expected to wane after a 4-year high

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Trade volume is expected to wane after a 4-year high

Korea is expected to fail to achieve its goal this year following four consecutive years of record trade volume over $1 trillion, primarily due to falling oil prices, the Korea International Trade Association said on Sunday.

Korea’s trade volume will reach an estimated $972 billion by the end of this year, down from $1.98 trillion last year. Since 2011, Korea has seen the data surpass $1 trillion.

Exports dwindled 7 percent this year from a year earlier to $532 billion, and imports slumped 16 percent year-on-year to $440 billion, according to the trade agency’s estimates.

“As international oil prices nose-dived 50 percent this year, the trades of petroleum-related goods shrank $86.3 billion, accounting for 79 percent of the entire decrease,” KITA Chairman Kim In-ho said Friday.

He predicted that trade would improve next year, with the situation for advanced economies expected to improve and oil prices projected to normalize. However, goods in persistent oversupply worldwide, such as steel products and displays, will remain sluggish.

BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]

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