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S. Korea's trade slows down

March 1, 2013 at 8:56 AM

SEOUL, March 1 (UPI) -- The Ministry of Knowledge Economy in South Korea said Friday exports declined 8.6 percent in February from the same month of 2012.

Exports dropped to $43.32 billion in the month with imports also sliding by 10.7 percent on a 12-month basis to $40.26 billion.

The country's trade balance came out ahead for the 13th consecutive month, Yonhap reported. For February, the surplus came to $2.06 billion.

For February, the government said, exports and imports played against each other. With less business for exporters, there were fewer orders for raw materials -- hence a decline in imports.

The report also blamed the sluggish economy in the eurozone and general oversupply in the marketplace for the decline in international trade.

Imports of raw materials declined 7.4 percent, pushed by a 36.7 percent drop in coal imports and a 10.3 percent decline in crude oil imports.

Concurrently, exports to the European Union fell 15.4 percent compared to February 2012 and exports to the United States during the same period fell 11.4 percent, the government said.

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