South Korea's exports expanded at a faster-than-expected pace in May with the trade surplus rising sharply, government data showed on Saturday, adding to hopes of a sustained recovery in Asia's fourth largest economy.
Exports rose 3.2 percent in May from a year earlier to $48.368 billion, while imports dropped 4.8 percent to $42.341 billion, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The May trade surplus stood at $6.026 billion, compared with a revised surplus of $2.447 billion in April, the largest since October 2010. A Dow Jones poll had forecast a median trade surplus of $3 billion in May.
Exports to the United States jumped 21.6 percent year-on-year, while shipments to China were up 16.6 percent. But exports to Japan plunged 11.7 percent, a decrease blamed on a weaker yen.
-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this report --