South Korea posted a trade surplus for the 38th month in a row in March as imports dropped at a faster click than exports, customs data showed Wednesday.
According to the Korea Customs Service, the country's trade surplus reached US$8.4 billion last month, up from $7.7 billion in February and $3.5 billion a year earlier, Yonhap news agency reported.
Exports fell 4.3 percent on-year to $47 billion in March, while imports nosedived 15.3 percent to $38.6 billion, it said.
South Korea's trade account has been in the black since February 2012.
Exports of ships shot up 11.6 percent on-year, with shipments of semiconductors rising 2.8 percent. Exports of wired telecommunication terminal equipment advanced 23.4 percent on-year.
Overseas sales of automobiles, on the other hand, dropped 7.7 percent with exports of refined petroleum products, automobile parts, liquid crystal displays and wireless communication equipment all losing ground.
By country, exports to the United States and Latin America rose 17 percent and 14.3 percent, respectively, with gains being posted for the Middle East and Australia.
On the down side, exports to China, South Korea's largest trading partner, declined 2.4 percent, with those to the European Union and Japan falling 9.8 percent and 23.1 percent, respectively.
On imports, the KCS's latest report showed demand for computer chips rising 4.2 percent, with numbers for information technology products moving up.
Imports from the U.S. and Latin America gained 2.1 percent and 21.9 percent, respectively, while shipments from China fell 5 percent on-year.
In the first three months of 2015, the country's cumulative exports reached $133.6 billion, down 2.9 percent from a year earlier, while imports came to $112 billion, representing a 15.4 percent drop. The country's trade surplus stood at $21.6 billion as of end-March.