SEOUL, May 11 (Xinhua) -- South Korea logged a trade deficit in the first 10 days of this month due to a faster increase in import than export, customs office data showed Wednesday.
The trade deficit reached 3.72 billion U.S. dollars in the May 1-10 period, up from a deficit of 2.21 billion dollars recorded in the same period of last year, according to the Korea Customs Service.
Except for February, the country has posted trade deficits this year amid the faster growth in import.
Export advanced 28.7 percent from a year earlier to 16.05 billion dollars in the 10-day period in May, while import jumped 34.7 percent to 19.77 billion dollars.
The import surge was driven by higher commodity prices. Crude oil import soared 53.7 percent for the first 10 days of this month, and the import of oil products and natural gas spiked 46.8 percent and 52.7 percent respectively.
In terms of value, the import of crude oil, natural gas and coal amounted to 4.54 billion dollars.
Import from Saudi Arabia more than doubled in the cited period, and that from China and Australia increased in double figures.
Semiconductor export gained 10.8 percent, and shipments for steel products and automotive components advanced 27.1 percent and 13.8 percent respectively.
Export of cars and mobile devices declined by more than 20 percent in the 10-day period.
Export to China, South Korea's biggest trading partner, rose 9.6 percent, and that to the United States, the European Union (EU) and Vietnam went up in double digits.