Energy import costs are increasingly affecting trade

Korea’s import cost of crude oil, gas and coal for the first 80 days of this year jumped 85.4 percent from a year earlier.

The Korean Customs Service announced on March 28 that the cost of crude oil, gas and coal imports from South Korea for the first 80 days of this year was $38.4966 billion, up 85 .4% compared to the previous year.

“Specifically, costs jumped 69.8%, 92% and 150.6%, respectively,” he explained, adding, “Monthly, the combined cost increased 131.4% in January. , 53.4% ​​in February and 75.5% from March 1 to 20”.

South Korea is said to be on the verge of running a monthly trade deficit due to soaring energy prices. The deficit was US$2.078 billion from March 1 to 20, while a trade surplus of US$754 million was recorded in the same period of 2021. South Korea’s monthly trade surplus was negative US$430 million in December, negative US$4.89 billion in January and US. $840 million last month.

In addition, rising import costs are affecting its current account conditions. In January this year, it recorded a current account surplus of US$1.81 billion and has been in the black for 21 consecutive months. However, the surplus was US$6.78 billion in January last year and US$6.06 billion in December last year.

“We previously estimated the current account surplus for this year at $82.3 billion assuming the price of oil this year would be $65 a barrel,” the Korea Finance Institute said. adding: “With the current price of around $100 per barrel, the surplus could decrease by around US$45 billion.

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