Trade deficit amounted to 1.39 billion U.S. dollars in April, marking the first deficit in 99 months, according to Korea Customs Service.
Export, which takes up about half of the export-driven economy, tumbled 25.1 percent over the year to 36.55 billion U.S. dollars in April, while import declined 15.8 percent to 37.94 billion U.S. dollars.
The export fall was ascribed to cheaper crude oil and an economic fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak across the world. The daily average export retreated 18.3 percent last month.
Oil product export plunged 56.2 percent in April from a year earlier, and those for semiconductors, cars, auto parts, consumer electronics and mobile phones contracted in double figures.
Exports to China and the United States, South Korea's top two trading partners, diminished 17.9 percent and 13.5 percent each last month, and those to the European Union, Vietnam, Japan and the Middle East all reduced in double digits.