November 1, 2018 / 12:17 AM / 2 months ago

S.Korea Oct exports top expectations, Sino-U.S. trade row clouds outlook

* Exports +22.7 pct y/y (Reuters poll +17.0 pct)

* Imports +27.9 pct y/y (Reuters poll +19.0 pct)

* Sept-Oct exports +5.7 pct y/y

SEOUL, Nov 1 (Reuters) - South Korea’s exports last month jumped 22.7 percent on-year, beating market expectations, but data excluding holiday effects showed growth in shipments cooling amid an intensifying Sino-U.S. trade war.

Exports rose to $54.97 billion in October from $44.79 billion a year before, while imports grew 27.9 percent to $48.42 billion from $37.86 billion, producing a surplus of $6.55 billion, preliminary data from the customs agency showed on Thursday.

The median forecast from a Reuters survey was for exports to grow 17.0 percent and imports 19.0 percent.

The sharp rebound from an 8.2 percent drop in September was largely attributable to the traditional three-day Chuseok holidays falling in October last year but in September this year.

Removing the holiday effects, the combined September-October exports were up just 5.7 percent from the comparable 2017 period, slowing from an already slow 6.6 percent rise for the first eight months of this year, the agency’s data showed.

South Korea is the world’s first major exporting economy to publish monthly trade figures, providing a useful indicator on the health of global trade. The United States and China collectively account for about 40 percent of South Korea’s total exports. (Reporting by Hayoung Choi and Choonsik Yoo; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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