South Korea’s exports of information and communications technology (ICT) products rose to a record monthly high last month on strong demand for semiconductors, government data showed on Tuesday.
According to data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, outbound shipments of ICT products gained 28.1 percent on-year to a fresh monthly high of $17.7 billion in January. The shipment is the highest tallied so far for January and tops the previous record of $14.42 billion posted in January of 2015. It also marks the 14th straight month for Korea to post a double-digit on-year increase.
Trade surplus in the ICT sector reached $8.38 billion in January as the value of exports significantly outweighed that of imports. Data showed that imports of ICT products from major markets reached $9.33 billion last month.
Korea’s exports of ICT products rose on brisk sales of semiconductors, computers and related equipment.
By item, overseas shipments of semiconductors reached $9.86 billion in January, topping $9 billion for a fifth straight month, led by a rise in demand for memory chips and system chips. Exports of major memory chip items such as dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), non-volatile storage (NAND) flash, and multi-chip package rose evenly last month, contributing to strong exports.
Overseas shipments of computers and related equipment also reached $930 million in January, marking growth for a tenth straight month led by strong demand for solid state drives (SSDs).
Exports of display panels, however, fell 5.9 percent on-year in January to $2.29 billion, data showed. Overseas shipments of mobile handsets also decreased 8.3 percent to $1.39 billion last month from a year earlier.
Exports of finished mobile handsets fell due to growing competition in the global market but exports of related parts such as camera modules increased, said a government official.
By region, ICT exports to major markets grew evenly.
By Ko Jae-man and Lee Eun-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]