South Korea posted its 52nd consecutive trade surplus in May as a sharp drop in imports outpaced a fall in exports, customs data showed Wednesday.
The country's trade surplus came to US$6.98 billion last month, down from $8.8 billion in the previous month, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.
The May figure marked an 11% on-year rise from $6.29 billion tallied in the same month a year earlier, extending its streak to 52 months, according to South Korea's (Yonhap) News Agency. But the amount of trade surplus fell for three straight months after hitting a four-month high of $9.83 billion in March.
The parade of monthly trade surplus came as a protracted economic slowdown dragged down imports at a faster pace than exports. Exports fell 6% on-year to $39.8 billion last month, while imports retreated 9% to $32.8 billion.
Due mainly to waning demand from emerging countries and a slowdown in China, the country's exports have fallen every single month since the start of 2015. At the same time, the country's inbound shipments also saw contractions for 20 straight months because of low oil prices.