Korea's exports fell for two straight years in annual terms. The country, however, posted a trade surplus as its imports also declined. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy on January 1, the nation's exports amounted to US$495.5 billion last year, down 5.9 percent from a year ago.
Given that the nation's shipments recorded a negative growth of 8 percent in 2015, the country suffered a negative export growth for two consecutive years.
Imports also fell 7.1 percent year on year to $405.7 billion, leading to a trade surplus of $89.8 billion, down slightly from $90.3 billion a year before.
Although the country achieved a "recession-type trade surplus" last year, some positive factors arose from the fourth quarter of last year. In December 2016, the nation's exports amounted to $45.1 billion, up 6.4 percent from a year earlier. This was the first time for the country's exports to rise for two straight months since October 2014.
The nation's December trade surplus amounted to $7.0 billion, with the nation's trade surplus being sustained for 59 months in a row.