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최종편집 2022-07-01 15:12 (금)
Korea’s exports and trade balance of diagnostic reagents reach all time high in January as omicron variant circles the globe
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Korea’s exports and trade balance of diagnostic reagents reach all time high in January as omicron variant circles the globe
  • Hyeokgi Lee, Newsmp
  • 승인 2022.02.23 15:25
  • 댓글 0
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    Monthly exports of $577.51 million… almost twice as close as of December 2020
    Trade balance of $499.17 million

As the number of countries vaccinated against COVID-19 increased, the exports and trade balance of diagnostic reagents, which had been decreasing, soared and hit all time high in monthly figures as omicron variant spreads worldwide.

According to the data from the Korea Customs Service, monthly exports of diagnostic reagents (HS3822) jumped 238.6% year-on-year to $577.51 million in January, escaping from a five-month decline.

The figure nearly doubled the previous monthly maximum exports of $310.08 million recorded in December 2020.

Korea’s exports of diagnostic reagents increased sharply around the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, surpassing $200 million for four consecutive months from September 2020 to December 2020, when the third pandemic began in the U.S. and Europe.

In December 2020, monthly exports exceeded $300 million for the first time, and the trade surplus also reached an all time high of $226.71 million.

However, as COVID-19 vaccinations started in the U.S. and Europe, exports continued to decrease.

The exports plunged to the $100 million mark, and since then, exports had never exceeded the $200 million mark until November.

Furthermore, since April 2021, negative growth has stayed due to the base effect.

It only rebounded once in July and recorded negative growth for eight months from April to December except for July out of nine months.

During the same period, imports of diagnostic reagents steadily remained in the $60~80 million range, and when exports recorded negative growth, the trade deficit coexisted.

In December 2021, when the spread of Omicron intensified, exports of diagnostic reagents increased to $249.3 million, recovering to the $200 mark, but the negative growth rate was maintained due to the base effect, which hit all time high in the same period last year.

The trade balance also reached a year-high of $163.99 million but contracted by nearly 30% compared to $226.71 million a year earlier.

Nevertheless, in January 2022, as the exports of diagnostic reagents more than tripled from the same period last year, the trade surplus nearly quadrupled to $499.17 million.

As a result, Korea’s diagnostic reagent trade balance achieved a surplus for 22 consecutive months, and the surplus during this period reached $3.1 billion.


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