NEW DELHI/SEOUL, July 18 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s trade surplus with India in the first half of the year has nearly halved from a year earlier due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, a report showed Saturday.

According to a report from the New Delhi branch of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), South Korea recorded a trade surplus of US$2.76 billion with India in the first six months of the year, down 47.7 percent from a year ago when it reached $5.28 billion.

The report showed South Korea’s trade surplus with India narrowed sharply after April after the South Asian country started to impose lockdowns to stem the spread of COVID-19.

South Korea’s trade surplus reached $2.26 billion in the first quarter of the year, but it trimmed to $500 million in the second quarter, the report showed.

The decline in the trade surplus is due to a sharp fall in exports, according to the report. South Korea’s outbound shipments to India dropped 33.2 percent on-year to $5.36 billion in the first half of the year, while imports from India shrunk only 5.3 percent on-year to $2.59 billion.

By items, outbound shipments of steel plates, auto parts and semiconductors suffered sharp declines.

“Due to the recent resurgence of virus cases, it appears that South Korea’s exports to India are likely to be tepid in the second half of the year,” a KITA official said. “It will also take some time for imports to return to the normal level.”

South Korea previously announced that it plans to increase its bilateral trade with India to $50 billion a year by 2030. Last year, the two countries’ trade volume reached $20.7 billion.