The imports of textiles and clothing by South Korea crossed the US$ 14 billion mark last year, narrowing the industry’s surplus further.
In 2014, South Korea’s textile and clothing exports grew by 8.4 per cent year-on-year to $14.66 billion, which is an all-time high, yonhap news agency said citing data from the Korea International Trade Association.
On the other hand, South Korea’s textile and garment exports decreased 0.1 per cent year-on-year to $15.94 billion during the year. Thus, the industry’s surplus was at a record low of $1.28 billion, about 50 per cent less than the surplus amount in 2013.
The trade surplus in textiles and clothing has been declining since 1998, when it was at a peak of $14.04 billion. Several factories relocating their production to China and Vietnam due to high production costs is one of the reasons for declining exports.
South Korea’s imports have been growing in recent years, mostly driven by low-priced products from China. In 2014, about 45 per cent of the country’s total imports valued at $6.59 billion came from China, while its exports were worth $2.52 billion.
South Korean textile industry experts say the country could soon become a trade deficit from trade surplus if the current trend continues. (RKS)