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By Kang Yoon-seung
SEOUL, Nov. 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports fell 16.7 percent on-year in the first 20 days of November due mainly to weak outbound shipments of chips and mobile devices, data showed Monday.
The country's monthly exports stood at US$33.2 billion in the Nov. 1-20 period, compared with $39.8 billion a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.
Imports also went down 5.5 percent on-year to $37.6 billion during the cited period, resulting in a trade deficit of $4.4 billion.
South Korea had one less business day over the period from a year earlier.
By sector, outbound shipments of chips, the mainstay export product for Asia's No. 4 economy, plunged 29.4 percent to reach $5.28 billion, the data showed. Exports of mobile devices shed 20.6 percent to $1.36 billion.
Outbound shipments of steel products also decreased 18.8 percent over the period to $2.46 billion, the data showed.
In contrast, exports of automobiles advanced 28.6 percent on-year to hit $3.15 billion in the first 20 days of the month, with those of petroleum products rising 16.1 percent to $3 billion.
By destination, exports to China, the top trading partner, plunged 28.3 percent to reach $7.4 billion, while those to the United States advanced 11 percent to $5.7 billion, according to the agency.
Exports to the European Union and Vietnam lost 1.5 percent and 14.4 percent, respectively.
South Korea's exports this year have reached $610.3 billion so far, up 8.4 percent on-year. Imports, meanwhile, increased at a wider margin of 21.2 percent to hit $650.2 billion on high energy costs, resulting in a record-high deficit of $39.9 billion.
Exports stood at US$52.48 billion in October, down 5.7 percent from $55.7 billion a year earlier, separate data from the trade ministry showed. It was the first on-year drop since the 3.6 percent fall posted in October 2020.
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