South Korea's export fell in single digits in the first 20 days of this month, showing signs of recovery from the fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak, customs office data showed Friday.

Export, which takes up around half of the South Korean economy, amounted to 23.1 billion U.S. dollars during the Aug. 1-20 period, down 7.0 percent from the same period of last year, according to Korea Customs Service.

The daily average shipment, which excludes the effect of the difference in working days, slipped 3.7 percent in the 20-day period.

It showed signs of recovery from export declines of 25.5 percent in April, 23.7 percent in May, 10.9 percent in June and 7.0 percent in July respectively.

Global demand partially recovered amid the reopening of businesses in major economies after shutdowns amid the fear of the virus infections.

Export for telecommunication devices such as smartphone tumbled 29.3 percent in the 20-day period, and shipment of oil products plunged 39.0 percent.

Automotive export retreated 10.1 percent, but semiconductor shipment gained 2.9 percent. Computer export almost doubled as people preferred working at home and attending online classes.

Export to China, South Korea's biggest trading partner, inched down 0.2 percent, while shipment to the United States grew 6.2 percent. Those to the European Union (EU) and Vietnam slipped 1.8 percent and 6.4 percent respectively.

Import diminished 12.8 percent over the year to 23.3 billion dollars for the first 20 days of this month, sending the trade deficit to 0.2 billion dollars.