Exports, the strong support of the Korean economy, have been shaking for two months in a row.

Exports declined while imports continued to rise, and the trade balance fell into deficit for eight months in a row.

The longest deficit period in 25 years since 1997, when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) faced the financial crisis, continues.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced the import and export statistics for November today (1st).

Exports in November totaled $51.91 billion, down 14.0% from the same month last year ($60.33 billion).

Last October, exports decreased by 5.7% compared to the same month last year, returning to a decline for the first time in two years since October 2020 (-3.9%), and exports decreased for two consecutive months.

This is the first decrease for more than two months in a row since March to August 2020, at the beginning of the corona spread.

The Ministry of Industry said, “The prolonged war between Russia and Ukraine, the global economic slowdown due to monetary tightening in major countries, and the refusal of collective transportation by the cargo union have had a complex effect.” There is also a base effect from recording performance,” he explained.

However, cumulative exports from January to November of this year reached US$629.1 billion, up 7.8% from the same period last year, exceeding US$600 billion in November for the first time ever.

In November, by item, automobiles (31.0%), petroleum products (26.0%), and secondary batteries (0.5%) increased. In particular, automobiles recorded the highest monthly performance ever.

On the other hand, exports of semiconductors (-29.8%) and petrochemicals (-26.5%), which are the mainstays, decreased significantly due to weak demand following the economic slowdown.

November imports recorded $58.93 billion, up 2.7% from the same month last year.

Imports of crude oil, gas, and coal, the three major energy sources, increased by $3.31 billion from the same month last year ($12.21 billion) to $15.51 billion, a 27.1% jump, significantly affecting the trade deficit.

The trade balance recorded a deficit of 7.01 billion dollars (approximately 9.1 trillion won).

The trade balance has been in the red for eight months in a row since April.

It is the first time in 25 years since the consecutive deficit of more than 8 months from January 1995 to May 1997.

The trade deficit in November also widened compared to last October ($ 6.7 billion).

"Slow export growth and trade deficits are common phenomena in manufacturing-based export powerhouses," the Ministry of Industry said.