SEOUL: South Korea imports fell 0.9% to 44 billion dollars, keeping the surplus trend for 35 straight months.
Exports, which account for about half of the economy, rose 3.6 percent from a year earlier to 49.7 billion dollars in December, according to the Korea Customs Service. Helped by the relatively solid export growth, the country posted the trade surplus since February 2012.Chip exports surged 11.6 percent in December last year from a year earlier, leading last month’s export increase. Exports in cars, display panels and mobile devices gained 2.9 percent, 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.
Ship exports reduced 3.8 percent, and oil product shipment declined 6.7 percent on lower crude oil prices. Those for auto parts and consumer electronics slid 1.2 percent and 10.5 percent each.Imports of crude oil sank 25.2 percent on cheaper oil, and mining product imports declined 14.2 percent. Those for consumer and capital goods increased 10 percent and 17.4 percent each in December last year.