SEOUL – South Korean trade balance was at $7.8 billion in November, with 9.6 percent surge in exports year on year that was driven by the robust demand for memory chips.
The figure marks the 70th consecutive month of trade surplus for South Korea.
Exports have also seen growth for the 13th consecutive month, with 9.6 percent increase year on year valued at $49.67 billion, according to the Customs Office and the South Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy on Friday.
November was also the 13th month in a row for South Korean imports surge, rising 12.3 percent year on year to $41.83 billion.
The commerce ministry attributed the export surge to the growing demand for semiconductors, and to a lesser extent, machinery, petrochemicals, automobiles, steel and screens.
In the first 11 months of the year, memory chips exports were at $88.3 billion, making it the highest tallied figure.
The Asian country’s exports have been recovering since November 2016, thanks to the increase in crude oil prices, which affected the petrochemical industry, and the recovery of demand, especially from China, South Korea’s main trading partner.
South Korean exports to China soared 20.5 percent year on year in November, making it the fourth consecutive month of increase.
The improvement in diplomatic relations between South Korea and China helped the trade growth following a covert boycott of South Korean products by the Chinese government in spring, in the wake of the United States anti-missile system installation on South Korean soil that was strongly opposed by Beijing.