South Korea logged a trade surplus for 60 months in a row in January, but the amount more than halved from the previous month, customs data showed Wednesday.
The country's trade surplus came to $2.81 billion last month, down sharply from a surplus of $6.76 billion tallied a month earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.
The steep decline came as a rise in imports outpaced that of exports last month on rising oil prices.
Exports rose 11.2 percent on-year to $40.3 billion in January, extending its winning streak to three months in a row, while imports soared 19.7 percent to $37.5 billion last month.
Increasing overseas demand for Korean-made semiconductors and displays led the brisk exports, while imports of energy and facility equipment gained ground to a large extent.
In particular, imports of crude oil shot up 59.1 percent in January from a year earlier as oil prices soared to $53.60 per barrel from $33.70 per barrel over the one-year period. (Yonhap)