South Korea's trade surplus hit a record high of US$4.6 billion in March, mainly due to imports falling faster than exports, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said Wednesday. The trade surplus bettered the previous record of US$3.8 billion registered in April 1998.

In March, exports plunged 21.2% year-on-year to US$28.3 billion, after a revised 18.3% fall in the previous month. Exports fell for the fifth consecutive month in March. Meanwhile, imports slipped 36% annually to US$23.7 billion in the month, following a 30.9% decline in February. Economists expected exports to slip 21.5% and imports to fall 33.7% in March.

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