(Corrects month to January from December in 1st paragraph)
SEOUL, Jan 21 (Reuters) – South Korea’s exports in the first 20 days of January fell 0.2% from a year earlier, marking the smallest decline in about a year on better chip sales, data from the Korea Customs Service showed on Tuesday.
The 0.2 percent decline is softer than the 2.1% drop in the Dec. 1-20 period, and marks the best performance since the end of 2018. Imports jumped 3.0% after declining 0.4% in the same period in December.
Overseas chip sales surged 8.7%, while petrochemical products soared 19.3%.
Shipments to China however, South Korea’s biggest trading partner, dropped 4.7% for the first 20 days of January from a year earlier.
(Reporting by Cynthia Kim, Joori Roh; Editing by Kim Coghill)