Exports of diagnostic reagents continue to boom in the aftermath of the spread of the omicron variant, but the trade deficit for pharmaceutical products has widened due to the impact of vaccine imports.
According to the data from the Korea Customs Service, monthly exports of diagnostic reagents (HS3822) in February amounted to $568.85 million, exceeding $550 million for the second consecutive month.
Although the exports slightly decreased than the previous $577.41 million in January due to the short number of days of February, the year-on-year growth rate was 363.2%, exceeding 238.6% in January.
Combined exports for two months jumped 290.8% year-on-year to $1.1462 billion, or 56.0% of last year’s annual exports of $2.047 billion.
Imports of diagnostic reagents also increased 9.8% year-on-year to $72.98 million but showed a significant difference from the increase in exports.
As a result, the monthly trade surplus reached $495.88 million, maintaining at the $490 million mark for two consecutive months. This is a 780.5% increase compared to the same period last year.
Furthermore, the two-month trade surplus surged 534.9% year-on-year to $994.95 million, reaching 85.6% of the annual surplus of $1.1613 billion in two months.
On the other hand, exports of pharmaceutical products (HS30), which exceeded $1 billion with the effect of vaccine exports at the end of last year, decreased to the $500 million mark.
Exports of pharmaceutical products, which shrank to $628.29 million in January, further decreased to $536.46 million in February, and the negative growth rate expanded from -12.5% to -27.0% compared to the same period last year.
The cumulative two-month exports exceeded the $1 billion mark with $1.1647 billion but decreased by nearly 20$ from the same period last year.
Imports of pharmaceutical products, which had risen sharply after exceeding $1.3 billion in September last year due to vaccine imports, also declined for the second straight month, reducing to $794.34 million in February.
However, compared to the same period last year, it increased 42.6%, leading to a deficit of more than $200 million for the second consecutive month.
The cumulative two-month imports amounted to $1.634 billion, up 28.5% from the same period last year, resulting in a deficit of $469.38 million.