Cargo processed at Korean seaports edged up in the first quarter from a year earlier as a rise in domestic shipments made up for a drop in exports and imports, government data showed Wednesday.
The country's seaports handled a combined 366.1 million tons of freight during the January-March period, up 1.5 percent from 360.7 million tons tallied a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.
Export-import cargo, which accounted for 82.6 percent of the total, retreated 1 percent on-year to 302.5 million tons, offsetting a 15.6 percent jump in domestic shipments of 63.7 million tons.
The ministry data showed that containers handled by Korean ports stood at 6.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the first quarter, nearly unchanged from a year earlier.
Export-import container traffic edged up 1.3 percent on-year to 3.6 million TEUs over the three-month period.
Meanwhile, Korea's outbound shipments sank 13.1 percent on-year to $116 billion, with its imports tumbling 16.3 percent on-year to $93.6 billion.
By port, container cargo processed at the country's largest seaport of Busan, 453 kilometers southeast of Seoul, inched down 1 percent on-year to 4.8 million TEUs, while Incheon saw the number jump 6.9 percent on-year to 576,000 TEUs.
Busan was the world's fifth busiest container port in freight handled in the first quarter, following Shanghai, Singapore, Shenzhen and Ningbo-Zhoushan.(Yonhap)