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S. Korea's ICT exports down for 6th straight month in April

All News 11:00 May 21, 2019

SEOUL, May 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korean exports of information and communication technology (ICT) products fell for the sixth straight month in April on weak demand for semiconductors and displays, data showed Tuesday.

Total outbound shipments reached US$15.2 billion last month, a drop of 10.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Science and ICT.

Exports of semiconductors, one of the country's key export items, plunged 13.3 percent on-year to a little under $8.6 billion, mainly due to falling global market prices for memory and lower demand for system chips, the data showed.

This is the fifth month in a row that chip exports have contracted vis-a-vis the year before.

Shipments of displays, another key ICT product for Asia's fourth-largest economy, stood at slightly above $1.7 billion, marking a 16.2 percent drop from a year earlier due to stiffer competition from overseas rivals.

S. Korea's ICT exports down for 6th straight month in April - 1

The data showed demand for liquid-crystal displays backtracking, with a rise in output of smartphones pushing up shipments of organic light-emitting diode panels.

Overseas sales of smartphones, including parts, remained almost flat by inching down 0.1 percent, with exports standing at just above $1 billion in the one-month period.

The ministry said the release of new premium smartphones helped arrest sharper drops amid inroads being made by competitors in the worldwide market.

Exports of computers and related peripherals nose-dived 33.1 percent on-year to $580 million, with demand for the latest solid-state drive (SSD) affecting performance. SSD exports fell 59.7 percent compared to a year earlier.

By region, shipments to China, including Hong Kong, were down 15.7 percent to around $7.9 billion, with figures for Japan and the European Union all heading south. Exports to Vietnam and the United States, on the other hand, rose 14.3 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Shipments to Vietnam, a key overseas market, stood at $2.2 billion, rebounding from several months of negative growth, with numbers for the U.S. reaching over $1.5 billion, the data showed.

The ministry said the country imported some $9.5 billion worth of ICT products for the whole of last month, leading to a surplus of around $5.7 billion.


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