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Import settlements in yen hit record low in Q1


SEOUL, April 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korean importers reduced their use of the Japanese currency in settling deals in the first quarter amid the yen's weakening trend, the central bank said Wednesday.

The use of the yen accounted for a fresh record low of 4.9 percent of the total import settlement in the first quarter, down from 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The weight of the yen declined as the currency's sharp weakness reduced the dollar conversion value of settlements made with the yen, it said.

The yen appreciated around 2 percent against the greenback in the first quarter, but the Japanese currency has been on the weakening trend since late 2012.

The use of the dollar accounted for 85.1 percent of the total import settlement in the first quarter, up from 84.1 percent three months earlier.

The euro ranked second with 5.5 percent, followed by the yen and the Korean won at 3.5 percent, the central bank said.

The dollar was also the most favored currency for export settlement last quarter.

The use of the greenback accounted for 85 percent of the total export settlement, up from 84.6 percent three months earlier, it added.

The euro ranked second with 6.1 percent, followed by the Japanese yen with 3.2 percent and the won with 2 percent, the BOK said.

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