Concerns are growing as South Korea's exports fell again in October for the 11th straight month amid slowing global trade.
Data released by the trade ministry showed on Friday that the country's outbound shipments slumped nearly 15 percent on-year to some 46-billion U.S. dollars in October.
That's the biggest on-year decline this year.
Semiconductor shipments have fallen 32 percent, while petroleum goods were down 23 percent.
However, exports of ships went up 26 percent. Computer and bio-health product shipments also increased nearly 8 percent in October.
The ministry attributed the fall in exports to sluggish semiconductor demand and the impact of the ongoing trade spat between the U.S. and China.
In fact, the ministry said falling exports are a concern for all major global economies due to rising uncertainties, such as trade disputes or concerns over a possible no-deal Brexit.
The ministry, however, said Japan's recent export restrictions on South Korea have so far had a limited impact on Seoul.
Imports also dropped around 15 percent on-year in October to some 41-billion dollars.
With imports and exports both declining, the country posted a trade surplus of some 5.4 billion dollars.
"Aside from the U.S.-China dispute, Korea is heavily affected by semiconductors, which is why exports have been falling for 11 months. Now, the demand for chips is at its lowest, but watchers say the demand is expected to rise in the future."
On the same day, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy held a meeting with trade and industry groups to discuss export conditions.
There, minister Sung Yun-mo unveiled a government plan to put more than 51-billion dollars into trade finance in the fourth quarter to support local exporters.
The ministry also promised to support overseas marketing and invest more than 257 billion dollars in future industries, including chips, bio-health and future cars.
The ministry expects the trade to turn around from this month, and begin to really pick up next quarter.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.