SEOUL, June 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports dropped 9.4 percent in May from a year earlier, extending their on-year fall for the sixth consecutive month, data showed Saturday, due mainly to the sluggish shipments of chips and the weak Chinese economy.
Outbound shipments came to US$45.9 billion for May, down from the $50.68 billion tallied a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Imports moved down 1.9 percent last month to $43.64 billion, the ministry added.
The country's trade surplus came to $2.27 billion in May, marking 88 straight months in which the country's exports have exceeded imports. The surplus, however, narrowed from $5.13 billion and $4 billion posted in March and April.
South Korea's overall exports lost ground mostly due to semiconductors, the country's main export good, whose shipments fell a whopping 30 percent over the cited period, according to the ministry.
Exports to China, the biggest trading partner for Asia's fourth-largest economy, also slipped 20 percent in May from a year earlier.
The sound performance of rechargeable batteries, electric cars, and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, however, made up for some of the losses caused by chips and petrochemical goods, the data showed.