SEOUL, June 25 (Xinhua) -- South Korea is likely to post a trade surplus worth 19 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of this year as a decrease in imports exceeding that in exports, the government said Thursday.
According to the Ministry of Knowledge and Economy, while the nation's exports are likely to hit around 163 billion U.S. dollars in the first six months, a 23 percent year-on-year drop, the imports shrank 34 percent to 144 billion U.S. dollars compared with the same period of last year.
The ministry said the overall trade surplus for 2009 may reach 25 billion U.S. dollars, with exports dropping 16 percent and imports sinking 24 percent on year.
Although the whole-year trade surplus is expected to soar from a deficit of 13 billion U.S. dollars last year, the amounts of exports and imports may not meet the previous year's levels, the ministry added.
Export and import volumes, which will likely continue to post negative values, will turn around to stand in the black from November, according to the ministry.
Special Report: Global Financial Crisis