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S. Korea exports show sharpest decline for six years in 2015

South Korea's exports fell last year at their fastest rate since the global financial crisis, with 12 straight monthly declines fuelled by a strong won and plunging oil prices. The government data published Friday is a grim annual report for a country whose exports account for roughly half of its economic output. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said exports were down 7.9 percent from the previous year at $527.2 billion -- the sharpest annual decline since 2009. Outbound shipments plunged 13.8 percent in December alone, the ministry said. A host of factors have contributed to the export downturn, including the rise of the South Korean won against Japan's yen, while its biggest trading partner China has embarked on a series of devaluations of its yuan currency. Low global oil prices have also been …

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