South Korea's exports fell 16.1 percent on-year in the first 20 days of May due to a prolonged slump in the global chip industry, data showed Monday, with the country's outbound shipments set to lose ground for seven consecutive months.
The country's outbound shipments stood at $32.4 billion in the May 1-20 period, compared with $38.6 billion a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.
Imports shed 15.3 percent on-year to $36.7 billion during the cited period, resulting in a trade deficit of $4.3 billion.
By sector, exports of chips, the backbone of Asia's No. 4 economy, slid 35.5 percent on-year to $4.26 billion.
Other major export goods also lost ground, with exports of petroleum products falling 33 percent to $3 billion and steels losing 7.5 percent to $2.9 billion.
Shipments of automobiles, on the other hand, jumped 54.7 percent over the period to $3.44 billion.
Exports to China, South Korea's top trading partner, fell 23.4 percent on-year to $6.79 billion, despite hopes over the positive impact of its reopening.
Outbound shipments to the United States edged down 2 percent to $5.8 billion, with those to the European Union falling 1.1 percent to $3.75 billion.
Exports to Vietnam and Japan fell 15.7 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively.
In April, South Korea's overall exports fell 14.2 percent on-year to $49.6 billion. Exports have logged an on-year fall since October last year amid aggressive monetary tightening by major economies to curb inflation.
As of Saturday, South Korea's trade deficit for this year reached $29.5 billion, already accounting for more than half of the record-high annual trade deficit of $47.8 billion in 2022. (Yonhap)