SEOUL, March 21 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's export fell in the first 20 days of March amid lower price of memory chips, the country's major export item, customs office data showed Thursday.
Export, which accounts for about half of the South Korean economy, amounted to 28 billion U.S. dollars during the March 1-20 period, down 4.9 percent from the same period of last year, according to Korea Customs Service.
The daily export averaged 1.93 billion U.S. dollars in the cited period, down 4.9 percent from a year earlier.
The outbound shipment kept a downward trend since December last year as chip export tumbled on lower product price.
Chip export plunged 25 percent in the March 1-20 period from a year earlier, and oil product shipment dipped 11.8 percent. Shipment of telecommunication devices, such as smartphone, shed 4.1 percent, but auto export grew 9.7 percent.
Export to China, South Korea's biggest trading partner, reduced 12.6 percent, and those to the European Union and Vietnam retreated 6.1 percent and 3.1 percent respectively.
Shipment to Japan slumped 13.8 percent, but export to the United States added 1.9 percent.
Import fell 3.4 percent to 27.4 billion dollars in the cited period, sending the trade surplus to 0.6 billion U.S. dollars.