Exports contracted 0.9 percent year-on-year to USD 47.88 billion, after rising 9 percent in the previous month. A 32 percent surge in sales to the European Union and a 4.5 percent increase in shipments to the United States were not enough to offset a 9 percent fall in exports to China. Sales fell 9 percent yoy, the fastest drop since 2009. Calendar effects also contributed to the decline, as unusual long holidays fell in May this year both in South Korea and China.
Imports increased 0.3 percent year-on-year to USD 42.5 billion.