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SEOUL, Jan. 1 (Yonhap) — South Korean exports were worse than expected in December, bearing the brunt of slowdowns in China and other key trading partners, as well as an extended slump in oil prices, government data showed Friday.
The country’s outbound shipments sank 13.8 percent last month from a year earlier to US$42.64 billion, smaller than the market estimate of $44.75 billion. The December figure also marks an on-year drop for the 12th straight month.
Its imports also sank 19.2 percent on-year to $35.47 billion last month, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy logged a trade surplus of $7.16 billion last month.
For the whole of 2015, the country’s exports plunged 7.9 percent on-year to reach $527 billion, while its imports dropped 16.9 percent on-year to $437 billion.
Its annual trade surplus reached a record high of $90.4 billion, the data showed.