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SEJONG, March 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea logged a trade surplus for 13 straight months in February despite the prolonged sluggish export growth affected by the global economic slump, customs data showed Thursday.
According to the customs-clearance trade figures provided by the Korea Customs Service, South Korea's exports shrank 8.6 percent on-year to US$42.3 billion last month. Imports also dropped 10.6 percent to $40.3 billion.
The country's trade surplus last month, however, came to $2 billion, larger than the $476 million tallied in January, which was the smallest surplus in 12 months.
The export reduction in February was driven mostly by sluggish overseas shipments of oil, steel, ships and automobiles, which saw sales drop 1.7 percent, 10.6 percent, 42.2 percent and 15.6 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.
By region, exports bound for the United States shrank 11.4 percent, while those for Japan, the European Union and China also fell 17.4 percent, 15.4 percent and 1 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, South Korea's cumulative exports during the first two months of this year totaled $88 billion, and imports came to $85.5 billion. Its cumulative trade surplus stood at $2.5 billion, the data showed.
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