Hallyu bolsters Korea’s trade data

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Hallyu bolsters Korea’s trade data

South Korea’s trade surplus in the media content sector grew to a 16-month high in August on the back of the growing popularity of Korean cultural products and eased tensions with China over a U.S. missile system, central bank data showed Saturday.

South Korea logged a trade surplus of $42.7 million (48.3 billion won) in sound and image services in August, the highest mark since the $55 million tallied in April last year, according to data compiled by the Bank of Korea.

The trade balance in this segment mainly refers to the import and export of key media content, ranging from TV programs, movies and music to income by Korean pop stars in offshore markets.

The latest increase came as sales of such content came to $81.8 million during the cited period, the highest since the $95.9 million tallied in June 2016, the central bank’s statistics showed.

“The eased tensions between Seoul and Beijing, as well as the profits from K-pop artists, seems to have contributed to the expansion of the surplus,” a BOK official said.

The surplus had narrowed earlier in 2017 after sales of South Korean popular movies, music and TV drama series in China sharply declined because of Beijing’s apparent retaliation against South Korea’s decision to deploy a U.S. anti-missile system.

The two countries’ ties have been improving since late last year, when they agreed to put their bilateral ties back on track.

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