Use of dollar for import settlement down in Q3

SEOUL, Oct. 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korean importers reduced their use of the U.S. dollar to settle their import deals for the second straight quarter in the July-September period, the central bank said Wednesday.

The use of the dollar accounted for 83.7 percent of the total import settlement in the third period, down from 84.3 percent in the second quarter, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

It marked the lowest weight since the 83.2 percent tallied in the first quarter of last year.

In the third quarter, the use of the euro inched up amid the easing eurozone debt crisis, and more importers tapped the Korean won in setting deals in importing autos from Germany, the central bank said.

Meanwhile, the dollar was still the most favored currency in settling exports in the third quarter, the BOK noted.

The use of the greenback accounted for 86 percent of the total export settlement last quarter, up from 85.3 percent three months earlier, it added.

The euro ranked second with 5.4 percent, followed by the Japanese yen with 3.6 percent and the won at 1.9 percent, the BOK said.

It is the first time that the weight of the won declined below 2 percent since the third quarter of 2011, it added.

The BOK said that the use of the Korean currency in settling exports declined amid a fall in Seoul's exports to Iran.

In October 2010, South Korea agreed with Iran to set up won-based transaction settlement arrangements for bilateral trade, mainly out of necessity for oil imports, saying the move did not go against international sanctions to punish Iran for its nuclear ambitions.

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