SEOUL-- South Korea's exports grew 20.4 percent on-year in the first 10 days of December on the back of solid demand for chips and petroleum products, customs data showed Monday.
The country's outbound shipments stood at US$19.5 billion in the Dec. 1-10 period, compared with $16.2 billion a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.
Imports jumped 42.3 percent on-year to $22 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $2.5 billion during the cited period, the data showed.
By sector, outbound shipments of memory chips, a key export item, rose 26.5 percent on-year in the cited period.
Semiconductors accounted 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.
Exports of petroleum products jumped 90.7 percent as oil prices remained high amid the global economic recovery.
Shipments of autos, meanwhile, declined 6.2 percent on-year amid a global shortage of automotive chips. Autos accounted for some 7 percent of South Korea's exports.
By country, shipments to China, South Korea's largest trading partner, rose 24.9 percent on-year, and those to the United States gained 18.3 percent.
The South Korean economy is on a recovery track on the back of robust exports.
Exports, which account for half of the economy, grew 32 percent on-year to a record high of US$60.44 billion in November, extending their gains to the 13th straight month.
The Bank of Korea forecast Asia's fourth-largest economy to grow 4 percent this year. The government predicted economic growth of 4.2 percent.
Source: Yonhap News Agency