South Korea's combined trade volume dropped 18.3 percent in the second quarter of 2020 from a year earlier amid the new coronavirus pandemic, data showed Sunday.
Asia's No. 4 economy saw its exports and imports reach $109 billion over the April-June period, falling $24 billion from the previous year, according to the data compiled by Rep. Yang Kyung-sook of the ruling Democratic Party.
It marked a further drop compared with the 1.8 percent on-year decrease reported over the first quarter.
The country's trade dropped at a similar margin of 21.1 percent on-year in 2009 as South Korea suffered an economic fallout from the global financial crisis.
South Korea's exports, meanwhile, fell 5.8 percent on-year in the first 20 days of October amid the fallout from the new coronavirus outbreak, customs data showed last week.
The nation's outbound shipments stood at $25.2 billion in the Oct. 1-20 period, compared with $26.7 billion a year ago, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.
By segment, exports of memory chips, a key item, rose 12.1 percent, but those of automobiles declined 7.1 percent on-year in the 20-day period.
Semiconductors account for about one-fifth of outbound shipments in South Korea, home to Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest memory chip maker, and its smaller rival SK hynix Inc.
In September, South Korea's exports managed to rebound for the first time in seven months helped by increased shipments of chips and automobiles, rising 7.7 percent on-year. (Yonhap)