SEOUL, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's exports edged up for the first 20 days of October due to a temporary effect of a rebound in ship exports, customs data showed on Friday.
Exports, which account for about half of the economy, reached 24.99 billion U.S. dollars during the Oct. 1-20 period, up 1.2 percent from the same period of last year, according to the Korea Customs Service (KCS).
It indicated the country's exports may rebound this month after declining 5.9 percent in September. The exports kept a downward trend from January last year to July this year before rising 2.6 percent in August.
The Oct. 1-20 rebound came as ship exports surged 52.4 percent in the cited period. Business days increased compared with the previous year, contributing to the export growth.
In addition to ships, export of steel products and auto parts expanded 5.9 percent and 5.1 percent respectively during the cited period.
However, shipments of telecommunication devices tumbled 28.1 percent as Samsung Electronics discontinued its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphones.
About two weeks after its debut, Note 7 phones faced a global recall in early September and were finally discontinued last week as cases of the devices catching fire and overheating were reported.
South Korea's mobile phone exports are forecast to continue keep falling as Samsung is required to compete in the fiercer mobile phone market without the latest model.
Auto exports plunged 15.6 percent during the Oct. 1-20 period as labor unions in some of local carmakers, including Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, went on partial strikes.
By country, exports to China and the United States, South Korea's top two trading partners, declined 9.7 percent and 0.4 percent each, but those to Vietnam soared 30.5 percent in the cited period.