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Seoul, Feb 13 – South Korea logged a trade deficit for the first 10 days of February due to a faster increase in import than export, customs office data showed Monday.
Trade deficit amounted to 4.97 billion U.S. dollars during the February 1-10 period, up from a deficit of 3.57 billion dollars tallied in the same period of last year, according to Korea Customs Service, Xinhua reported.
The trade balance stayed in red for the 11th consecutive month through January when the trade deficit hit a record monthly high of 12.69 billion dollars.
Export grew 11.9 per cent to 17.62 billion dollars in the 10-day period, while import expanded 16.9 per cent to 22.59 billion dollars.
The daily average export tumbled 14.5 per cent in the cited period. The outbound shipment kept a downward trend for the fourth successive month through January.
Semiconductor export dropped 40.7 per cent, and those for mobile devices and home appliances shrank 8.3 per cent and 32.9 per cent respectively.
The shipment of chips, the country’s major export item, continued to decline for the sixth straight month through January.
Automotive export more than doubled in the 10-day period, and those for steel and oil products gained 9.8 per cent and 28.8 per cent each.
Import of the country’s three major energy sources, including crude oil, natural gas and coal, came in at 6.64 billion dollars for the first 10 days of February, up 59.4 per cent compared to the same period of last year.
Chip import rose 3.4 per cent, but those for semiconductor equipment and precision machinery reduced 19.1 percent and 8.7 per cent each.