Year-on-year, exports dropped by 8.1 percent to USD 46.22 billion, the sharpest fall in more than two years, following a revised 4.3 percent drop in the previous month. Sales declined for: petroleum products, such as gasoline and diesel, (-43.3 percent), petrochemical products (-20.1 percent) and automobile (-8.0 percent). In contrast, sales of semiconductors rose by 7.5 percent. Exports to the country's major trading partners declined with those to China fell by 5.2 percent, Japan (-12.6 percent), the US (-2.7 percent), the EU countries (- 11.9 percent) and the ASEAN countries (-19.8 percent).
Imports fell by 17.8 percent to USD 37.73 billion, compared with a revised 15.3 percent decline in the preceding month.
In March, South Korea posted a USD 8.38 billion trade surplus.
The trade balance has been in surpluses since February 2012.