SEOUL, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's export marked the first rebound in seven months in September on recovering demand from major economies, a government report showed Thursday.
Export, which accounts for about half of the export-driven economy, reached 48.05 billion U.S. dollars last month, up 7.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
It was the first turnaround since February, posting the fastest increase in 23 months since October 2018.
After rising 3.6 percent in February, the country's outbound shipment fell 1.7 percent in March, 25.6 percent in April, 23.8 percent in May, 10.9 percent in June, 7.1 percent in July and 10.1 percent in August respectively.
Import added 1.1 percent over the year to 39.17 billion U.S. dollars in September, sending trade surplus to 8.88 billion U.S. dollars. The trade balance stayed in black for five months in a row.
The export rebound was mainly attributable to more business days. The daily average export shrank 4.0 percent in September from a year earlier amid the lingering economic fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak.
Global demand for locally-made products recovered from major economies. Shipment to South Korea's four major export destinations all recovered for the first time in 23 months.
Export to China, South Korea's biggest trading partner, gained 8.2 percent last month, marking the first turnaround in two months on demand for semiconductors, general machinery, computers and steel products.
Shipment to the United States and the European Union (EU) grew in double figures on the reopening of businesses after shutdowns to contain the virus spread.
Shipment to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) increased 4.3 percent, recording the first rebound in seven months.
Export to India jumped 28.2 percent last month, but those to Japan, the Middle East and Latin America diminished 6.0 percent, 9.7 percent and 27.6 percent each.
South Korea's three major export items, including semiconductors, general machinery and automobiles, rebounded for the first time in 23 months.
Chip export advanced 11.8 percent in September from a year earlier, keeping an upward trend for the third straight month. The semiconductor shipment topped 9 billion dollars for the first time this year.
General machinery shipment added 0.8 percent in September, turning around in seven months. Automotive export jumped 23.2 percent, marking the first rebound in six months.
Auto parts shipment rebounded in six months on demand from the United States and the EU, and steel export rose for the first time in nine months due to Chinese demand.
Computer export continued to increase for 12 straight months as the COVID-19 pandemic encouraged people to work at home and attend online classes.
Consumer electronics shipment kept rising for the third consecutive month, and textile export logged the first gain in seven months.
Export for oil products and petrochemicals tumbled 44.2 percent and 5.3 percent each amid the global supply glut.
Shipment of telecommunication devices, such as smartphone, retreated in double digits on weak Chinese demand.
The country's export of medicine and medical supplies continued to grow for 13 straight months owing to demand for the COVID-19 testing kits and biosimilars.
Shipment of cosmetics, farm goods and secondary batteries all went up in double digits. Enditem