SEOUL, May 22 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's export fell 16.1 percent from a year earlier to 32.44 billion U.S. dollars for the first 20 days of May, customs office data showed Monday.
Import diminished 15.3 percent to 36.75 billion dollars in the 20-day period, sending the trade deficit to 4.31 billion dollars, according to Korea Customs Service.
The country's export continued to slide since October last year amid weaker global demand for locally-made chips.
Semiconductor export dropped 35.5 percent during the May 1-20 period compared to the same period of last year, keeping a downward trend since August last year.
Outbound shipment for oil products, precision machinery and computers declined in double digits, but automotive export jumped 54.7 percent.
Import for crude oil, natural gas and coal retreated in double figures in the cited period, with those for oil products and semiconductor equipment skidding over 20 percent.
The country's trade balance has stayed in red since March last year amid the continued export fall.