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S Korea posts record-high trade surplus in 2009
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2010-01-14 13:29

South Korea posted a record-high trade surplus in 2009 as imports fell faster than exports amid an economic downturn, a government report said Thursday.

According to a report by the Korea Customs Service (KCS), the nation's trade surplus amounted to 40.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2009 with the figure remaining in the black for 11 straight months.

The trade amount, which posted the highest level of 6.52 billion-U.S. dollar surplus in June, has been firmly standing in positive territory with a recovery in exports, the KCS said.

Despite of a year-on-year decline of 13.9 percent in exports to 365.3 billion U.S. dollars, the figure has been marking a positive gain since November, with the December figure hitting a 32.8 percent on-year growth, according to the customs office.

With respect to imports, the figure remained mostly sluggish, with the total annual amount plunging 25.8 percent to 323.1 billion U.S. dollars, as oil prices moved downward and domestic demand contracted, but it has seen a rebound since November, the KCS said.

Among South Korea's trade partners, China provided the country with the largest amount of trade surplus, totaling 32.5 billion U.S. dollars, while trade with Japan and the Middle East countries marked a deficit of 27.7 billion U.S. dollars and 37.6 billion U.S. dollars, respectively.

The data came as the South Korean economy is seeing a continued recovery, with the 2010 economy forecast to post a 5 percent growth by the government.

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