SEOUL, Sept 11 (Reuters) - South Korea notched up a rare gain in exports for the first 10 days of this month, helped by the launch of new phone model by tech giant Samsung Electronics, though a slowing global economy meant a durable turnaround for shipments is likely some way off.
Exports for the first 10 days of this month rose 7.2% from the comparable period a year earlier, while imports grew 3.3%, Korea Customs Service data showed on Wednesday.
It was the first time since April that exports had registered growth for the first 10 days of a month.
Yet, the underlying trend highlighted the extent of the challenge facing South Korea’s exporters. Adjusted for the difference in the number of working days, average exports per working day grew just 0.04% in value for the Sept. 1-10 year-on-year, the data showed.
On the whole, the uptick in 10-day exports was led by a whopping 105.6% increase in shipments of smartphones, the data showed, apparently linked to the launch in August of a new model by Samsung Electronics
South Korea’s exports for the whole of August fell 13.6% from a year earlier, hit by a plunge in semiconductor prices amid the cooling global economy and marking the ninth consecutive month of annual declines. (Reporting by Choonsik Yoo; Additional reporting by Hayoung Choi Editing by Shri Navaratnam)