A container being loaded onto a ship at a port in South Korea. (Source: Yonhap)

Seoul (VNA) – The Republic of Korea's exports grew 14.8 percent on-year during the first 20 days of May, thanks to good shipments of semiconductors and petrochemical goods, the local news agency Yonhap reported.

The country's outbound shipments reached 29.1 billion USD in the May 1-20 period, the news agency cited the data from the Korea Customs Service.

The customs office said that daily average exports, which reflect working days, rose by 10.4 percent annually to 2.24 billion USD.

Overseas shipments of semiconductors surged 42.8 percent, with those of petrochemical goods increasing 19.1 percent. However, exports of ships plunged 33.6 percent.

Outbound shipments to China, the United States and the European Union rose 25.1 percent, 14 percent and 33.1 percent year on year, respectively.

Imports advanced 10.7 percent to 27.5 billion USD, resulting in a trade deficit of around 1.5 billion USD, the data showed.

The country's exports retreated in April from a year earlier, marking the first dip in 18 months, largely due to a base effect. Asia's fourth-largest economy shipped overseas 50.06 billion USD worth of goods last month, down 50.84 billion USD year on year, while its imports recorded an annual increase of 14.5 percent 43.45 billion USD.-VNA