South Korea logged a record trade deficit in the first half of the year.
According to data by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Friday, the country's exports posted 35-point-03 billion U.S. dollars in the first six months of the year, up 15-point-six percent from a year earlier.
Imports jumped 26-point-two percent to 36-point-06 billion dollars during the cited period, leading the country to post a record high trade deficit of ten-point-three billion dollars.
It marks the largest trade deficit for the first-half tallies. The previous record was a deficit of nine-point-16 billion dollars tallied in the first half of 1997.
Although exports of 14 key items, including semiconductors, steel and petroleum products increased, the country suffered a trade deficit due to soaring prices of energy and raw materials. In particular, import costs of crude oil and natural gas spiked to 87-point-nine billion dollars in the first half of this year from 41 billion dollars a year ago.
For the month of June, the nation also posted a trade deficit of two-point-47 billion dollars, posting a deficit for the fourth consecutive month.