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By Kang Yoon-seung
SEJONG, Oct. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports sank 11.7 percent in September from a year earlier, extending their slump to a 10th consecutive month, data showed Tuesday, hurt by still weak prices of semiconductors and the yearlong trade row between the United States and China.
Outbound shipments reached US$44.7 billion last month, compared with the $50.6 billion tallied a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Imports fell 5.6 percent on-year last month to $38.7 billion, the ministry added.
The country's trade surplus came to $5.97 billion in September, marking 92 straight months in which the country's exports have exceeded imports.
South Korea's shipments of chips, the backbone of Asia's No. 4 economy, tumbled 31.5 percent on-year, and those of petrochemical products decreased 17.6 percent on-year, the data showed.
Shipments of mobile devices, on the other hand, moved up 1.1 percent -- their first on-year monthly growth in 14 months. Exports of ships advanced 30.9 percent.
The country's exports to China, its biggest trading partner, fell 21.8 percent on-year amid the yearlong Sino-American trade dispute, which weighed down on overall business sentiment. Outbound shipments to the U.S. fell 2.2 percent over the cited period.
The world's two largest economies are also South Korea's top two trading partners.
Shipments to Japan slid 5.9 percent from a year earlier in the face of the growing trade tension between the two Asian neighbors, sparked by Tokyo's abrupt economic retaliation against Seoul which began in July.
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