SEOUL, Sept. 20 (Yonhap) — Cargo processed at South Korean seaports fell 18.2 percent in August in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, government data showed Sunday.

Cargo handled at the country’s ports came to 117.34 million tons last month, down from 143.43 million tons a year earlier, according to the data by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.

Handling of export-import cargo shrank 19.7 percent on-year to 100.8 million tons last month, leading the overall decline.

Hit by the coronavirus pandemic, container cargo dropped 3.9 percent on-year to 2.32 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in August.

A total of 130,000 TEUs of export-import freight was processed, down 4.3 percent from a year earlier, and transshipment cargo, or cargo processed here en route to final destinations, also decreased 3.2 percent from a year ago to 1 million TEUs.

Busan on the southeastern tip of South Korea was the country’s busiest maritime gateway last month, with its container cargo handling totaling 1.73 million TEUs, followed by Incheon, west of Seoul, with 274,000 TEUs.