Trade deficit $319.11 million… 8 times YoY
Exports with double-digit growth… cumulative growth of 30.6% over 8 months
After the COVID-19 pandemic, the trade deficit has decreased significantly as drug exports increased sharply, but in recent months, the deficit widened again due to vaccine imports.
According to the data from the Korea International Trade Association, exports of Medicinal and pharmaceutical products (SITC 54) persisted in growing by double digits in August.
Monthly exports amounted to $636.01 million, exceeding $600 million for the fourth consecutive months, up 11.7% YoY. However, since June, both exports and growth have been gradually reducing.
Nevertheless, the cumulative eight-month export value is $5.53 billion, which is a growth rate of more than 30% compared to the same period of last year.
While the size and growth of pharmaceutical exports are gradually decreasing, the imports have increased significantly.
In August, imports surged 57.6% YoY to $955.11 million, exceeding 50% for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Accordingly, the cumulative growth of imports, which had maintained a single-digit until July, soared to 14.1% in August to $6.49 billion.
As drug imports increased considerably, the deficit also widened significantly. In August alone, it recorded a deficit of $319.11 million, exceeding $300 million.
It is the first time since December 2019 ($351.29 million), before the COVID-19 pandemic, that the monthly trade deficit of pharmaceutical products exceeded $300 million.
As a result, the cumulative deficit, which stood at around $500 million until July, rose sharply to $573.49 million in August.
However, compared to the same period last year ($1.385 billion), it still remains at a lower level by over 30%.