S. Korea's exports down for 6th month in March on falling chip demand
SEOUL, April 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports fell for the sixth consecutive month in March due mainly to weak global demand for semiconductors amid an economic slowdown, the industry ministry said Saturday.
Outbound shipments fell 13.6 percent on-year to US$55.12 billion last month, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The decline came as exports of semiconductors, the country's key export item, dived 34.5 percent in March on falling demand and a drop in chip prices.
Imports fell 6.4 percent on-year to $59.75 billion in March, as the country's energy imports went down 11.1 percent on-year, the ministry said. South Korea depends on imports for most of its energy needs.
Accordingly, the country suffered a trade deficit of $4.6 billion last month.
Imports have exceeded exports in South Korea since April last year on high energy prices, and it is the first time since 1997 that the country has logged a trade deficit for 13 months in a row.
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