South Korea's exports surged to a new monthly high last month on growing shipments to the United States and Europe, posting a trade surplus for the 21st consecutive month, the government said Friday.
The country's total outbound shipments came to $50.5 billion last month, up 7.3 percent from the same month last year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The previous monthly record was at $48.95 billion posted in July 2011. It also marks the first time the country's monthly exports breached the $50 billion mark, it said in a press release.
The country's imports grew 5.1 percent on-year to $45.61 billion, with its trade surplus coming to a little over $4.89 billion.
Last month's trade surplus compares with a surplus of $3.73 billion in the same month last year, and also with a surplus of $3.68 billion in the previous month.
The ministry attributed the rise in exports to growing shipments to both advanced and developing countries including China.
"Exports to the United States and China continued to grow with shipments to the European Union significantly increasing amid the eurozone's economic recovery," it said.
Shipments to the United States surged 23.2 percent on-year, with exports to the European Union also jumping 16 percent.
Exports to Japan, on the other hand, dropped 8.8 percent, posting an on-year drop for the ninth consecutive month since February.
By product, information-technology products, such as semiconductors, continued to help boost the country's overall exports, with outbound shipments of automobiles also growing significantly.
Shipments of mobile phones, including smartphones, spiked 33.1 percent on-year with shipments of automobiles and semiconductors also surging 21.2 percent and 15.2 percent, respectively.
Exports of petroleum products, on the other hand, plunged 16 percent on-year, with shipments of liquid crystal display panels also sinking 14.5 percent. (Yonhap News)