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(LEAD) S. Korea's trade terms hit all-time low in July

Economy 13:50 August 31, 2022

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, first 2 paras; ADDS info, photo)

SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's terms of trade fell to the lowest point ever in July as import costs rose faster than export prices, central bank data showed Wednesday.

The nation's net terms-of-trade index for goods -- a gauge of overall trade terms -- came to 82.55 in July, down 11.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

From the previous month, the figure was down 3.1 percent.

The index is calculated by dividing the index for export prices by that for import prices. It shows the amount of imports a country can buy for each unit of exports. A lower index means worse trade terms.

The July index marked the lowest tally since relevant data began to be compiled.

Import prices of oil and key commodities have risen sharply amid the protracted global supply-chain disruptions and a rebound in demand from the pandemic.

Import prices jumped 22.7 percent on-year in July, while export prices gained 8.1 percent over the same period.

A BOK official said the recent drop in oil prices was not reflected in the July data, but it is expected to help the index improve in August.

Containers for export are stacked at a pier in South Korea's largest port city of Busan, in this file photo taken Aug. 1, 2022. South Korea suffered a trade deficit of US$4.67 billion for the fourth consecutive month in July over high global energy prices, with exports and imports standing at US$60.7 billion and $65.37 billion, respectively, according to the ministry. (Yonhap)


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