SEOUL, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- South Korea logged its second-highest export last month, keeping an upward momentum for the 12th consecutive month, a government report showed Monday.
Export, which accounts for about half of the export-driven economy, came in at 55.55 billion U.S. dollars in October, up 24 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
It marked the second-highest monthly figure since relevant data began to be compiled in 1956, continuing to grow for 12 months since November last year. The record high was 55.83 billion dollars tallied in September this year.
Import soared 37.8 percent over the year to 53.86 billion dollars in October, sending the trade surplus to 1.69 billion dollars. The trade balance stayed in black for 18 months in a row.
The outbound shipment topped 50 billion dollars for eight months since March amid a continued recovery in global demand from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The daily average export reached the second-highest reading of 2.65 billion dollars in October.
For the first 10 months of this year, the export amounted to 523.2 billion dollars, exceeding 512.5 billion dollars for the entire year of 2020. The record yearly high was the export of 604.9 billion dollars in 2018.
Out of the country's 15 major export items, shipment for 13 products recorded a double-digit growth last month.
Semiconductor export advanced 28.8 percent over the year to 11.17 billion dollars in October, surpassing 10 billion dollars for the sixth consecutive month.
The shipment of petrochemicals and oil products jumped 68.5 percent and 138.1 percent each last month amid the global economic recovery and an expensive crude oil.
General machinery export gained 12.7 percent to 4.39 billion dollars due to brisk activity in the manufacturing and construction industries of the major economies, while steel shipment surged 48.6 percent to 3.37 billion dollars on higher product price and strong global demand.
Export for telecommunication devices, such as smartphone, and display panels continued to grow for 12 and seven straight months respectively on the back of the launch of new smartphones and the global demand recovery.
Automotive export reduced 4.7 percent over the year to 3.83 billion dollars in October due to the supply disruption of chips used to manufacture cars.
South Korea's shipment to nine major export destinations all increased for the seventh straight month in October.
Export to China, South Korea's biggest trading partner, soared 24.9 percent over the year to 14.39 billion dollars in October on a higher demand for consumer goods, including smartphones and clothing, during the year-end season and the continued demand for chips and petrochemicals.
Shipment to the United States and the European Union expanded in double figures to 8.06 billion dollars and 5.09 billion dollars each thanks to the economic recovery from the pandemic shock.
Export to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations spiked 29.2 percent to 9.72 billion dollars last month on robust demand for locally-made chips, display panels and oil products.
Export to India advanced 29.9 percent to 1.4 billion dollars on higher price for petrochemicals, steel and oil products, while shipment to Japan, Latin America and the Middle East all increased in double digits in October. Enditem