S. Korea predicted to log record trade deficit this year

December 12, 2022

SEJONG, Dec. 13 (Yonhap) — South Korea is widely expected to post a record trade deficit this year due to soaring international energy prices amid a slowdown in exports, sources said Tuesday.

Asia’s fourth-largest economy had a trade deficit of US$47.46 billion as of Saturday this year, the largest-ever yearly red ink, according to the Korea Customs Service.

The figure is nearly 2.3 times the previous all-time high of $20.62 billion recorded in 1996.

It is also well above forecasts made by major economic think tanks, including the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), which projected a full-year red ink of $45 billion.

Given the current trend, South Korea is sure to register a full-year trade deficit for the first time since 2008, when the country was $13.27 billion in the red in the wake of the global financial crisis, according to analysts.