SEOUL, June 26 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's export volume turned downward in May, fueling worry about the mainstay of the export-driven economy, central bank data showed Wednesday.
In terms of volume, the export declined 3.1 percent in May from a year earlier, after rebounding 2.2 percent in the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
The export volume for computers, electronic and optical devices diminished 9.8 percent on weak demand for liquid crystal display (LCD) panels, with the figure for chemical product skidding 2.5 percent.
In terms of value, the outbound shipment tumbled 10.7 percent in the month, marking the biggest fall since April 2016.
The export volume of integrated circuits, including DRAM memory chip, grew 7.7 percent last month, but the export value plunged 29.8 percent, logging the fastest reduction in over 10 years.
The sharp fall was attributable to the downturn in business cycle of the global chip industry that led to lower chip price.
The import volume shed 0.9 percent in May from a year earlier on soft demand for semiconductor equipment. The import value also slipped 2.9 percent on lower price of electronic products.
The net terms-of-trade index for goods, which measures the amount of goods that can be imported with a unit-export proceed, shrank 5.9 percent in the month, keeping a downward trend for 18 straight months.