Year-on-year, exports in August fell by 14.7 percent to USD 49.3 billion, an eighth straight monthly decline and the sharpest drop since August 2009. In July, the country registered a revised 3.4 percent drop in outbond shipments. Sales of petroleum products were down 41.1 percent year-on-year and those of petrochemical products declined by 26.3 percent.
Outbond shipments to China, the largest market for South Korean products, fell by 8.8 percent from a year earlier. Those to the US declined by 4.4 percent. Exports also dropped to Japan (-24.4 percent) and the EU countries (-20.8 percent.
Imports declined by 18.3 percent to USD 35.0 billion, the fastest drop since February this year,following a 15.3 percent decrease in July.
In July 2015, South Korea posted a revised USD7.7 billion trade surplus.
The trade balance has been in consistent surpluses since February 2012.