SEOUL, Nov. 16 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s exports fell 3.8 percent on-year in October on fewer working days and the fallout of the new coronavirus outbreak, customs data showed Monday.
The country’s overseas shipments stood at US$44.9 billion last month, compared with $46.6 billion the previous year, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.
The October tally snapped a brief rebound in September, when the country’s exports rebounded for the first time in seven months by growing 7.3 percent on-year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Per-day exports gained 5.4 percent on-year in the cited period as this year’s working days in October were fewer than a year earlier due to the Chuseok fall harvest holiday.
The country’s imports declined 5.6 percent on-year to $39.1 billion in October. South Korea posted a trade surplus of $5.8 billion last month, marking the sixth straight month of surplus.
By sector, outbound shipments of memory chips, a key export item, jumped 10.2 percent on-year in October, while those of autos gained 7.1 percent from a year ago.
Semiconductors account for about 20 percent of exports by South Korea, home to Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest memory chipmaker, and its smaller rival SK hynix Inc.
By country, shipments to China — South Korea’s largest trading partner — declined 5.8 percent, while exports to the United States added 3.3 percent, the data showed.