S. Korea’s C/A surplus up in February on higher shipping rates

2021.04.07 15:12:30

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Higher shipping rates have bumped up South Korea’s surplus in the current account in February and extended a black streak into the 10th month.

The country’s current account registered a surplus of $8.03 billion in February, $1.6 billion added from a year earlier, according to the preliminary data released by the Bank of Korea on Wednesday.

It is the 10th month in a row for the current account to stay in the black.

The surplus in the goods account came at $6.05 billion, eased by $550 million compared to a year earlier. Exports grew 9.2 percent on year to $44.71 billion, and imports gained 12.6 percent to $38.66 billion.

Service account reversed to a surplus of $130 million from a $610 million deficit in the previous month. A year earlier, it recorded $1.44 billion in the red.

The turnaround owed much to the rise in global shipping charges. Transportation account surplus amounted to $810 million.

The deficit in travel account narrowed to $340 million from $470 million posted a year earlier, with the number of Koreans traveling overseas sinking 93.5 percent on year.

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The primary income account, which includes the net flow of profits from overseas investments and net remittance flows from migrant workers, ran a surplus of $2.12 billion, increasing $900 million from a year earlier, led by dividend income growth. Dividends income totaled at $1.5 billion, nearly tripled compared to a year earlier.

Net assets in the financial account added $7.43 billion. Koreans’ direct overseas investment expanded by $3.33 billion amid retail share trading boom. Foreigner’s direct investment in Korea, however, fell by $130 million.

Koreans’ overseas stock investment swelled by $9.38 billion, while foreigners’ investment in Korean stocks gained $7.02 billion.

Derivative investment decreased $1 billion.

Reserves assets, referring to the foreign exchange reserve with exchange rate effect factored out, stretched by $2.24 billion.

By Cho Jeehyun

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