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(2nd LD) Exports drop 28.8 pct in first 10 days of October

09:38 October 12, 2020

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SEJONG, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports dropped 28.8 percent on-year in the first 10 days of October amid the fallout from the new coronavirus outbreak, customs data showed Monday.

The nation's outbound shipments stood at US$9.3 billion in the Oct. 1-10 period, compared with $13 billion a year ago, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

Per-day exports, however, rose 2.8 percent on-year in the Oct. 1-10 period, the Korea Customs Service said.

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted trade and halted production around the globe, with a rising number of countries fully closing their borders.

Imports also declined 19.5 percent on-year to $11 billion in the 10-day period, according to the data.

(2nd LD) Exports drop 28.8 pct in first 10 days of October - 1

By segment, exports of memory chips, a key item, rose 11.2 percent, but those of automobiles plunged 36 percent on-year in the 10-day period.

Semiconductors account for about one-fifth of outbound shipments in South Korea, home to Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest memory chip maker, and its smaller rival SK hynix Inc.

By country, shipments to China -- South Korea's largest trading partner -- fell 20.9 percent on-year, and shipments to the United States declined 33.5 percent.

Last month, South Korea saw exports rebound for the first time in seven months, helped by increased shipments of chips and automobiles as major trade partners gradually resumed their business activities amid the pandemic.

Outbound shipments came to $48 billion last month, up 7.7 percent from $44.6 billion posted a year earlier.

The on-year gain in exports marked the largest increase since October 2018, officials said.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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