UPDATE 1-S.Korea May 1-10 exports surge in boost to economic recovery

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SEOUL, May 11 (Reuters) - South Korean exports for the first 10 days of May surged 81.2% year-on-year to $12.5 billion, Korea Customs Service data on Tuesday showed, adding to the growing signs of a strong recovery in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

By product, outbound shipments of semiconductors, cars, petroleum products soared 51.9%, 358.4% and 128.2%, respectively, while those of wireless devices and auto parts jumped 97.2% and 316.6%.

By destination, exports to China, United States and European Union expanded 45.5%, 139.2% and 123.2% each, while those to Vietnam and Japan also rose 87.2% and 51.1%.

The data comes a day after South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said policies will focus on making sure the economy expands more than 4% this year, a rosier outlook than the finance ministry’s current forecast of between 3% and 4%.

Imports during the same period rose 51.5% to $14.6 billion. That brought the trade balance to a $2.2 billion deficit during May 1-10.

Exports data for May 1-20 period will be released on May 21, while that for the full month is due on June 1. (Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Himani Sarkar)