South Korea has recorded a tobacco-trade surplus every year since 2004, and that surplus looks set to increase this year, according to a story by The Hankyoreh Media Co.
This is despite the fact that the value of tobacco imports increased by about 59 percent from US$249 million during 2003 to US$395 million last year. Between 2003 and 2013, the value of South Korea’s tobacco exports more than doubled from US$237 million to US$553 million.
In 2003, the country recorded a trade deficit in tobacco trade, but since then it has recorded a surplus that has risen nearly six-fold from US$27 million during 2004 to US$158 million last year.
And already during the first half of this year, the country has recorded a surplus of US$123 million. The United Arab Emirates accounts for 31 percent of South Korea’s tobacco exports.