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.