S. Korea's current account surplus with China narrows in 2020 - Yonhap News

SEOUL, June 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's current account surplus with China narrowed in 2020 from a year earlier as travel demand plunged due to the COVID-19 pandemic, central bank data showed Tuesday.

South Korea posted a current account surplus of US$16.97 billion with China in 2020, compared with a $25.96 billion surplus in 2019, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

South Korea's current account surplus with the United States widened to $33.16 billion in 2020, compared with a surplus of $19.11 billion in 2019, the BOK said.

The rise in the current account surplus with the U.S. came as imports of crude oil and raw materials declined last year, the BOK said.

South Korea's exports fell 5.4 percent in 2020 from the previous year amid the pandemic, but the decline was partially cushioned by the latest recovery in the outbound shipments of chips.

Outbound shipments came to $512.8 billion last year, and imports moved down 7.2 percent on-year to $467.2 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $45.6 billion in 2020, according to the government data.

It marked the 12th consecutive year the country has posted a surplus.

Last year, South Korea saw its current account deficit with Japan and Europe widen.

The country's current account deficit with Japan came to $21.31 billion last year, up from $19.02 billion in 2019.

South Korea's current account deficit with Europe also widened to $7.09 billion last year from $5.59 billion in 2019, the BOK said.

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