South Korean exports dropped 23.6 percent in the first 10 days of August against a year earlier, dampening hopes of a recovery in the second half.

Outbound shipments totaled $8.7 billion in the August 1-10 period, down 23.6 percent from the same period a year ago, Korea Customs Service said Tuesday.

Average daily exports fell 12.7 percent, with the number of working days down one to seven from the year-ago period.

Exports in July had fallen 7.0 percent, the slowest decline in four months, raising expectations for a recovery in global demand.

Overseas sales of most key export items slumped in the first 10 days of August. Shipments of wireless communication devices plunged 43.6 percent and petrochemical products 45.8 percent. Semiconductors, the nation’s top export, also fell 6.8 percent. Shipments of computer related devices, however, jumped 62.3 percent.

Exports to major markets all fell by double-digits.

Exports to China, South Korea’s biggest trading partner, fell 11.3 percent from a year earlier. Those to Vietnam dipped 23.5 percent and the United States 22.3 percent. Shipments to the European Union were down 13.9 percent, Japan 27.8 percent and the Middle East 51.2 percent.

Imports in the first 10 days of the month declined 24 percent to $10.6 billion.

Imports of chips rose 2.0 percent and chipmaking equipment 120.3 percent, while those of crude oil fell 50.2 percent, machinery 6.3 percent and automobiles 16.1 percent.

Imports from China dropped 12.0 percent, the U.S. 8.8 percent, the EU 28.2 percent, Japan 14.1 percent, Middle East 56.5 percent and Vietnam 7.2 percent