In trade last year, South Korea logged an all-time high current account surplus with the United States.
Data released by the Bank of Korea on Friday shows that the country's overall current account surplus increased to 88 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, up 14 percent from the previous year.
Of that, the current account surplus with the United States stood at around 45 billion U.S. dollars.
This is up roughly 12 billion dollars, a rise of 40 percent from a year earlier,.. surpassing the previous record set in 2014.
A Bank of Korea official said the surplus rose as global trade recovered from the pandemic.
"As exports showed solid increases led by semiconductors and steel products, the current account surplus expanded. Also, the services account, which usually runs into the red on trade, the deficit was reduced as transport earnings improved."
Also, South Korea's current account surplus with Southeast Asian nations posted a record high figure last year mainly driven by semiconductors.
The figure stood at around 102 billion dollars, up around 30 percent from the previous year's black, surpassing the 100 billion dollar mark for the first time.
The current account surplus with Seoul's top export market, China, also rose on-year in 2021.
However, one expert says, the country is likely to post current account deficits with other countries this year as import prices rise due to soaring commodity prices.
"Last year, Korea's current account was in surplus because the Korea's semiconductor exports both in value and volume rose greatly. But this year, the current account count is a deficit. Because while the semiconductor prices are still relatively high, it is starting to fall. And in addition, the prices of raw materials especially oil, and foodstuff has been rising very quickly."
Amid rising global oil prices, the country's current account deficit with the Middle East worsened on-year standing at around 48 billion dollars.
The shortfall with Japan also rose to around 22 billion dollars last year, as South Korea imported more equipment for semiconductor production.
Eum Ji-young, Arirang News.