South Korea’s Exports Rise After a Year of Declines

By Kwanwoo Jun

South Korea’s October exports rose for the first time, after falling for a year, on brisk demand for transport, machinery and other goods, the latest sign of a recovery in global demand.

Exports rose 5.1% compared with the same period a year earlier to $55.09 billion, following a 4.4% drop in September, according to preliminary data released by the country’s trade ministry on Wednesday. A Wall Street Journal poll of 11 economists had tipped a 6.1% increase in October.

The rise in South Korea’s exports, after they contracted for 12 consecutive months, is the latest of sign of improving global demand. South Korea’s export data are often seen as a bellwether for the health of global trade as it is one of the first major export-led economies to report monthly trade data.

South Korea’s imports dropped 9.7% compared with the same period a year earlier to $53.46 billion in October, resulting in a trade surplus of $1.64 billion.

Shipments of vehicles, ships, machinery and petroleum products increased saw strong demand, the data showed, while shipments of computer chips and petrochemicals declined at a more moderate pace.

Exports to most major global markets, including the U.S. and China, increased compared with the month before.

South Korean policy makers have said they expect exports to continue to improve in coming months.

Write to Kwanwoo Jun at

Corrections & Amplifications

This article was corrected at 0113 GMT to reflect shipments of vehicles, ships, machinery and petroleum products saw strong demand. The original version incorrectly mentioned a computer in the fifth paragraph.Dow Jones Newswires

October 31, 2023 20:50 ET (00:50 GMT)

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