Year-on-year, exports declined by 3.2 percent to USD 41.96 billion from USD 43.47 billion, following a 5.9 percent fall in September while market expected a 3.3 percent drop. Sales dropped the most for mobile devices (-28.1 percent, largely due to the discontinuation of Samsung Galaxy smartphone), followed by automobiles (-11.8 percent, as partial strikes in Hyundai and Kia Motors disrupted auto output, leading to delayed shipments).
Outbound shipments to China, the largest market for South Korean products, declined by 11.3 percent, marking the 16th straight month of fall. Exports also declined to the US while those to the EU countries went up.
Imports decreased by 5.4 percent to USD 34.78 billion from USD 36.78 billion, after dropping by 1.7 percent the preceding month and higher than market consensus of 4.6 percent fall.
In September 2016, the trade surplus was downwardly revised to USD 6.90 billion.
The trade balance has been in consistent surpluses since February 2012.