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Korea’s Trade Deficit With Chile Widens

Korea Times, Seoul

7 September 2004

Korea’s Trade Deficit With Chile Widens

By Seo Jee-yeon

Staff Reporter

The nation’s trade deficit with Chile widened to $528 million in the five months since a free trade agreement (FTA) took effect on April 1.

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE) reported Tuesday that last year, Korea sustained a shortfall of $541 million in its trade with Chile with imports of $1.05 billion against $517 million in exports.

For the first seven months of this year, exports to Chile jumped 23.2 percent from the same period last year to $389 million, while imports skyrocketed 95 percent, the MOCIE reported.

The widening deficit was attributed to a steep price rise in imports of copper products, crude copper, petrochemical products, paper materials and meat products.

``Due to high prices of raw materials as well as the popularity of Chilean wine, the trade deficit jumped. But the trade imbalance is not that serious," an MOCIE official said.

Automobiles topped the list of exports with $125.37 million, followed by synthetic plastics ($36.29 million), telecommunication equipment ($30.57 million), petrochemical products ($20.3 million) and home appliances ($16.44 million).

Copper products took the bulk of imports with $577.5 million, trailed by crude copper ($286.64 million), petrochemical products ($56.46 million), paper materials ($56.36 million) and meat products ($27.63 million).