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South Korea's current account surplus hits record in 2013

South Korea's current account surplus reached a record $70.7 billion in 2013, helped by robust exports, official data showed on Wednesday.

SEOUL: South Korea's current account surplus reached a record $70.7 billion in 2013, helped by robust exports, official data showed on Wednesday.

The preliminary annual figure far exceeded the central Bank of Korea's forecast of $63 billion, and shattered the previous record of $48 billion posted in 2012.

"Exports were robust and stable global commodities prices helped keep costs of imports under control," said a central bank official quoted by Yonhap news agency.

Exports, which account for nearly half of the country's economy, rose 2.1 per cent to reach $559.6 billion in 2013.

Overseas shipments of electronics products rose 9.8 per cent in 2013, fuelled by mobile devices and memory chips, whose exports jumped by 12.1 per cent and 13.3 per cent respectively.

Exports of cars and auto components also rose 5.0 per cent.

Imports shrank 0.8 per cent to reach $515.5 billion.

The services account, which includes transport, travel and other services, posted a surplus of $6.0 billion for 2013.

For December only, the surplus in the current account -- the broadest measure of a country's trade with the rest of the world -- stood at $6.43 billion, compared with $6.03 billion in November.

It was the 23rd consecutive month that South Korea -- Asia's fourth-largest economy -- has posted a current account surplus. The last deficit was recorded in January 2012.

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