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Korea's current account surplus with China tumbles 19.5% in 2015

Staff writer |
South Korea's current account surplus with China sank nearly 20 percent last year due mainly to a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy, central bank data showed.

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The country's current account surplus with China, its largest trade partner, reached $45.14 billion in 2015, down 19.5 percent from the previous year's $56.06 billion, according to the data compiled by the Bank of Korea.

The figure fell for two straight years after peaking at $56.69 billion in 2013.

Last year, Asia's fourth-largest economy posted a current account surplus of $105.87 billion, up 25.5 percent on-year from $84.37 billion in 2014, although its exports plunged nearly 20 percent to $121.4 billion won over the cited period.

The central bank said the goods and service account surpluses with China tumbled at the same time as the Beijing government is seeking to take moderate-development economic policy and focus more on domestic demand.

"A drop in exports of chemical products and display panels to China dragged down the goods account surplus, with the service account surplus narrowing at the same time," said the BOK.

The goods account surplus from bilateral trade with China fell 20.3 percent to a four-year low of $34.33 billion last year, while the service account surplus fell 32.2 percent to $5.34 billion over the cited period.

In trade with the United States, meanwhile, South Korea's current account surplus sank 17.4 percent on-year to $33.85 billion in 2015, due to a 30.7 percent on-year hike in the service account deficit which reached a record high of $14.38 billion, said the BOK.

The current account deficit with Japan also expanded 21.8 percent on-year to $19.68 billion last year due to a sharp rise in losses from the tourism sector.

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