Korea keeps up C/A surplus streak for 16th mo in Aug, black in goods account softens

2021.10.07 13:47:20

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South Korea maintained its current account surplus streak for the 16th month in a row in August, although goods surplus was trimmed due to spike in import cost of commodities, central bank data showed Thursday.

The country’s current account surplus stood at $7.51 billion in August, maintaining the surplus streak for the 16th straight month since May last year. The surplus is up $870 million from $6.64 billion in August last year.

The goods account posted a surplus of $5.64 billion, down $1.45 billion from a year ago due to a rise in goods imports driven by higher commodity prices.

Exports jumped 31.2 percent to $52.22 billion in August and imports 42.4 percent to $46.59 billion.

The services account recorded a surplus of $1 billion, which turned around from a deficit of $880 million a year ago to reach an all-time high in nearly 13 years after $1.48 billion in October 2008.

In services account, transportation account registered a surplus of $1.52 billion in August versus a surplus of $420 million a year ago thanks to the strong global cargo demand.

The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) surged 264.9 percent in August from the same period last year, leading to a sharp increase in ocean cargo shipping revenue.

The travel account, however, recorded a deficit of $610 million, widening from $420 million a year ago.

The primary income account, which tracks wages of foreign workers and dividend payments overseas, posted a surplus of $1.11 billion in August, up $400 million from last year. Dividend income account also turned around to a surplus of $480 million on higher dividend income from overseas corporations.

Net assets in financial account increased by $5.8 billion.

Direct investment of Koreans overseas increased $5.33 billion while that of foreigners in Korea $590 million.

In securities investment, Koreans’ investment added $5.38 billion while that of foreigners fell $3.12 billion.

By Lee Eun-joo

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