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(LEAD) Exports rise 20.1 pct in first 10 days of Nov.

All News 09:21 November 11, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details throughout)

SEOUL, Nov. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports rose 20.1 percent on-year in the first 10 days of November, customs data showed Wednesday, amid the new coronavirus outbreak.

The country's outbound shipments stood at US$14.1 billion in the Nov. 1-10 period, compared with $11.7 billion a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

Per-day exports also gained 12.1 percent on-year during the cited period. Imports increased 7.8 percent on-year to $13.3 billion in the 10-day period, according to the data.

Exports, which account for half of the South Korean economy, were battered by the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic this year. But the pace of the slump has eased since June, as major economies slowly began resuming business activities and lifting border lockdowns.

In the Jan. 1-Nov. 10 period, exports fell 7.4 percent on-year to $429.7 billion, and imports declined 8.2 percent to $395.9 billion amid the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This file photo, taken June 4, 2020, shows stacks of import-export cargo containers at South Korea's largest seaport in Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap)

By sector, outbound shipments of memory chips, a key export item, jumped 31.9 percent from a year earlier in the first 10 days of November, while those of automobiles rose 8.3 percent.

Semiconductors account for about 20 percent of exports by South Korea, home to Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest memory chip maker, and its smaller rival SK hynix Inc.

But exports of petrochemical products sank 24.1 percent on-year on low oil prices.

By country, shipments to China -- South Korea's largest trading partner -- rose 14.5 percent on-year, and exports to the United States gained 23.5 percent.

Last month, South Korea's exports declined 3.6 percent from a year earlier due to fewer working days and a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, snapping the previous month's brief rebound, according to data from the trade ministry.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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