(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; ADDS details throughout)
By Kang Yoon-seung
SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports rebounded by rising 4 percent in November on-year on the back of the economic recovery of major trade partners that led to strong sales of chips, data showed Tuesday, although a resurgence in new virus cases still poses risks of delaying a full-fledged recovery.
Outbound shipments came to US$45.8 billion last month, compared with $44 billion a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Imports fell 2.1 percent to $39.8 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $5.93 billion.
It marked the seventh consecutive month for Asia's No. 4 economy to post a trade surplus.
The latest figure slightly falls short of market expectations. According to a poll by Yonhap Infomax, the financial arm of Yonhap News Agency, the country's November exports were expected to have risen 6.6 percent on-year.
South Korea attributed the rebound in outbound shipments to robust overseas sales of chips and other information and technology products.
Outbound shipments of chips expanded 16.4 percent on-year in November, expanding for the fifth consecutive month. Those of mobile devices climbed 20.2 percent.
Exports of display products increased 21.4 percent, and those of computers also added 5.6 percent, according to the data.
Shipments of biohealth products, including COVID-19 test kits, and agricultural goods also gathered ground on-year in November amid the pandemic, the ministry said.
South Korean exports posted their first on-year rebound in 14 months in February, but the recovery was short-lived as the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a harsh blow to key export products.
Asia's fourth-largest economy extended its slump in exports to a sixth month in August, before rebounding 7.3 percent in September on increased shipments of chips and automobiles. In October, exports moved down 3.8 percent due to fewer working days and a resurgence in the virus.
The country's central bank, meanwhile, revised up this year's economic outlook last week on signs of a modest recovery in exports.
The bank expected the economy to shrink 1.1 percent this year, compared with the previous forecast of a 1.3 percent retreat.
'Half-success' of rocket launch creates new tasks for S. Korea's space program
EU's probe suspension leaves S. Korean shipbuilders' biz combination in limbo
S. Korean companies go big on future of hydrogen
Theaters abuzz with return to pre-pandemic level
Kakao, Naver in neck-and-neck race for 3rd most valuable firm in S. Korea