SEJONG-- South Korea's exports rose 17.6 percent during the first 10 days of January on-year, due to a robust gain in shipments of semiconductors and wireless telecommunication equipment, data showed Thursday.

Total goods worth US$13.7 billion were shipped overseas from Jan. 1-10, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

If the trend continues, January will mark the 15th straight month of gains in exports.

Exports to Vietnam and China jumped 55.7 percent and 11.6 percent, respectively, while exports to the Middle East backtracked 0.5 percent.

Imports surged 24.9 percent to $15.5 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $1.86 billion, the data showed.

South Korea's exports rose 15.8 percent on-year to a record US$573.9 billion last year.

The nation's exports have been rising steadily since November 2016, led by an upturn in oil prices and recovering global trade.

Source: Yonhap News Agency