S.Korea posts biggest trade surplus in 21 months

South Korea reported its biggest trade surplus in 21 months as rising exports to the Middle East and Southeast Asia offset falling demand from the United States and Europe.

Exports in June rose 1.3 percent from a year ago to reach $47.4 billion, after shrinking for three straight months. Imports fell sharply by 5.4 percent to $42.4 billion, the Knowledge Economy Ministry said in a preliminary tally.

That resulted in a trade surplus of $4.96 billion in June -- the biggest since $6.34 billion posted in October 2010, the ministry said on Sunday.

Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected exports to grow one percent and a trade surplus of $3 billion in June.

Increased sales of cars, machinery and semiconductors as well as solid demand in emerging economies in Latin America and Asia helped offset shrinking sales in advanced markets particularly debt-hit Europe, said the ministry.

Asia's fourth-largest economy saw exports to the Middle East expand about 14 percent in June from a year ago while sales to members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations rose by a similar pace.

Exports to Europe dropped by 16.6 percent while sales in the US fell 3.5 percent.

But worsening trade conditions including Europe's raging debt woes and signs of a slowdown in China would hit Seoul's export-driven economy, said the ministry, cutting its forecast for exports in 2012.

It said exports for this year would rise 3.5 percent from 2011 to reach $574.5 billion, revising its earlier estimate that exports would grow 7.2 percent to reach $595 billion.

-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this report --

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Fight vs online libel goes to the UNHCR The Inbox
    Fight vs online libel goes to the UNHCR

    Commentary By Ellen T. Tordesillas Last Tuesday, while in Baguio City for their summer session, the Supreme Court denied all the Motions for Reconsideration on Online Libel which it upheld in its Feb. 18, 2014 decision. It will be recalled … Continue reading → …

  • Book chronicles efforts for PWD-friendly polls VERA Files - The Inbox
    Book chronicles efforts for PWD-friendly polls

    By Melissa Luz Lopez, VERA Files A lot have been done but much still need to be done for a hassle-free participation of Persons with Disabilities in elections,according to a book published by The Asia Foundation (TAF) and supported by … Continue reading → …

  • The other side of Palawan Ellen Tordesillas, Contributor - The Inbox
    The other side of Palawan

    By Ellen T. Tordesillas Mention Palawan and what comes to mind are Underground River and El Nido in the northern side of this richly-blessed province from its capital, Puerto Princesa. Three weeks ago, we went to the southern side- in … Continue reading → …

Poll Choice Options