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S. Korea's trade terms improve in May on low oil prices

13:43 June 26, 2020

SEOUL, June 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's trade terms improved in May from a year earlier due to low oil prices, central bank data showed Friday.

The country's terms of trade index for products came to 99.82 in May, up 10.1 percent from 90.66 posted in the same month last year, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The index measures the amount of imports a country can purchase for each unit of exports, showing how the country's exports are doing in comparison with those of others.

The on-year hike in the index was largely attributed to a sharp decline in import prices, led by low oil prices.

The price of South Korea's benchmark Dubai crude came to an average US$30.5 per barrel in May, down 56 percent from 69.4 in May last year.

In May, the country's import prices, on a customs-clearance basis, plunged 20 percent on-year, while its export prices fell 11.9 percent.

Last month, South Korea's exports sank 23.7 percent in the face of growing economic fallout from the new coronavirus pandemic that has disrupted the global supply chain.

Outbound shipments came to $34.8 billion in May, compared with $45.7 billion posted a year earlier.

Imports also surrendered 21.1 percent to $34.4 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $440 million.

The photo, taken May 1, 2020, shows stacks of import-export cargo containers at South Korea's largest seaport in Busan, 450 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

entropy@yna.co.kr
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