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S. Korea’s trade terms improve for 8th month in January

South Korea’s terms of trade rose for the eighth consecutive month in January as import costs continued to fall, central bank data showed Wednesday.

The country’s net terms-of-trade index for goods — a gauge of overall trade terms — improved 3.1 percent last month from a year ago, following the previous month’s 2.4 percent rise, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea.

The index shows the amount of imports a country can buy for each unit of exports, with a lower figure meaning worse trade terms.

Import prices fell 7.9 percent on-year last month, compared with the 15.7 percent gain in export prices, according to the central bank’s data.

It is calculated by dividing the index for export prices by that for import prices.

South Korea’s exports moved up for the fourth consecutive month in January as exports of chips rose at the sharpest rate in around six years.

Outbound shipments advanced 18 percent on-year to US$54.6 billion last month, while imports fell 7.8 percent on-year to $54.3 bi
llion last month, resulting in a trade surplus of $300 million.

South Korea has been maintaining a monthly trade surplus since June 2023.

Source: Yonhap News Agency