RTTNews - South Korea saw a trade balance of $5.15 billion in May, the Customs Service said on Monday - sharply lower than analyst expectations for a surplus of $6.9 billion after a surplus of $5.8 billion in April.

Imports plummeted 40.4 percent on year to $23.07 billion, the data showed, versus expectations for a 38.3 percent decline following the 35.6 percent annual contraction in the previous month.

Exports dropped 28.2 percent on year to $28.22 billion, in line with analyst forecasts for a 28.1 percent decline after the 19.6 percent fall a month earlier.

Sales to China were down 22.8 percent during the first 20 days of May from a year earlier, versus a 19.0 percent decline for all of April. Exports to the United States fell 20.0 percent compared with a 22.7 percent fall in April.

China and the United States combined comprise one-third of South Korea's exports. Electronics and cars made up about 40 percent of all exports last year.

The overseas sales of cars dropped an estimated 53 percent on year in May, with the export of car parts down 39 percent.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com