South Korea's exports fell in March for the 15th consecutive month due to sluggish global demand, but the decline was smaller for the second month in a row, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industries and Energy.
Exports dropped 8.2% from a year earlier to $42.98 billion in March, following the previous month's 12.2% drop, showed preliminary data released Friday by the ministry.
The March reading beat market expectations for a 9.9% decline.
The trade surplus widened to $9.82 billion in March from the previous month's $7.39 billion. The March reading beat the market projection of a $9 billion surplus.
In 2015, Korean exports contracted 8% from a year earlier--the sharpest decline in six years.