South Korean exports tumbled 28.8 percent in the first 10 days of October from a year earlier due to the lengthy Chuseok holiday.
Outbound shipments in the Oct. 1-10 period totaled $9.3 billion, down 28.8 percent from the same period a year ago, the Korea Customs Service said Monday.
This was largely due to a calendar effect. The month had two fewer operating days from the year-ago period at 4.5 days due to the Chuseok holiday, which this year ran from Sept. 3 to Oct. 2.
Average daily exports for the month actually rose 2.8 percent.
Despite the fewer operating days, semiconductor exports continued to run at a strong pace, up 11.2 percent.
Other mainstay items suffered. Telecommunication devices sank 16.5 percent, automobiles 36.0 percent and petroleum products 58.4 percent.
Sales to all major markets plunged by double digits. Exports to China fell 20.9 percent, Vietnam 15.6 percent, the United States 33.5 percent, the European Union 27.2 percent, Japan 36.8 percent and the Middle East 53.7 percent.
Korean exports in September had edged up for the first time in seven months on strong chip and auto demand.
Imports in the first 10 days of October shrank 19.5 percent to $11.1 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $1.78 billion.
Imports of chips and chipmaking equipments jumped 7.3 percent and 19.6 percent, respectively, while crude oil plunged 30.2 percent, gas 36.6 percent and precision machinery 14.1 percent.
By Kim Hyo-jin
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