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S.Korea's March 1-20 exports rise, but virus-led demand slump seen weighing

SEOUL, March 23 (Reuters) - South Korean exports rose 10.0% in the first 20 days of March from a year earlier, customs data showed on Monday, though a deepening slump in overseas demand triggered by the coronavirus pandemic is expected to weigh on the full month data.

Average exports per working day slid 0.4% during the period when eliminating the calendar effect. There were 1.5 more working days compared with the same period last year.

Exports to China, where the virus originated, rose 4.9% on-year in the 20-day period, the Korea Customs Service data showed. China is South Korea's largest trading partner which takes in a quarter of total overseas sales.

Outbound shipments of semiconductors, the nation's major export, jumped 20.3%. (Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Kim Coghill)