SEOUL, Jan. 29 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s exports of autos declined 12.1 percent on-year last year due to the fallout of the pandemic, data showed Friday.

The country’s outbound shipments of cars came to $34.7 billion last year, compared with $39 billion the previous year, according to the data compiled by the Korea Customs Service.

In 2020, the country’s imports of autos rose 8.8 percent on-year to $12 billion, the data showed.

The drop in auto exports was mainly attributable to a fall in demand over the COVID-19 pandemic. Autos accounted for some 7 percent of the country’s overseas shipments.

Despite the yearly slump in auto exports, shipments of eco-friendly vehicles jumped 19.2 percent on-year to a record $7.1 billion, accounting for 20 percent of the total, according to the customs office.

Meanwhile, vehicle exports gained 1.3 percent on-year to $10.7 billion while imports jumped 22.8 percent to $4 billion, the data showed.

The country’s exports fell 5.4 percent on-year in 2020 due to the fallout of the pandemic. But the pace of the slump has eased since June last year as the country’s exports recovered following major economies’ lifting of months of border lockdowns.

This photo, taken on Nov. 5, 2020, shows cars produced by Hyundai Motor Co. to be shipped for export on a dock in Ulsan, 414 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap)