South Korea has held up a year-long surplus streak in April, a typical deficit month due to dividend payout for the first quarter, thanks to soaring exports and shipping rates.
The country’s current account registered a surplus of $1.91 billion in April, $5.21 billion added from a year earlier while losing sharply from $7.82 billion in the previous month, according to the preliminary data released by the Bank of Korea on Tuesday.
A year ago, it incurred $3.3 billion in the red, as foreigners took out their dividend earnings in April.
The country’s goods account surplus amounted to $4.56 billion, expanding $3.86 billion from a year ago. In April exports has surged 46.9 percent on year to $52.17 billion and imports 36.7 percent to $47.61 billion.
Outbound shipment growth was mainly driven by semiconductors and automobiles.
Service account recorded a surplus of $10 million, sharply up from the red of $1.5 billion a year ago thanks to improved transportation account.
Transportation account registered a surplus of $810 million in April, gaining $40 million from a year earlier due to jump in shipping rates. The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), the widely cited metric on market freight quotations, soared 232.4 percent from last year.
Tourism account deficit expanded from $280 million a year ago to $610 million.
Primary income account posted a $1.95 billion deficit due to decreased dividend income account, which swung to a deficit of $3.21 billion. Still, it narrowed from a year earlier when the country posted a $2.25 billion deficit in its primary income account.
Net assets in the financial account fell $1.52 billion in April. Direct overseas investments by Korean nationals increased $4.33 billion and foreigners’ direct investment to Korea gained $2.5 billion.
Koreans’ overseas equity investment jumped $4.84 billion and foreigners’ investment in Korea securities expanded $6.13 billion.
Derivative investment dropped $200 million while other investments gained $5.49 billion.
By Lee Soo-min
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]