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Korea's ICT exports rise for 2nd straight month in March

All News 11:00 April 13, 2020

SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korean exports of information and communication technology (ICT) products grew for the second straight month in March on solid demand for smartphones, computers and other gadgets, data showed Monday.

Outbound shipments of ICT products moved up 1.1 percent on-year to US$16 billion last month, according to the data from the Ministry of Science and ICT. The country imported around $9.44 billion worth of ICT products in the one-month period, for a trade surplus of little under $6.57 billion.

The latest monthly tally follows an 8.2 percent on-year gain in exports reported in February after South Korea's ICT shipments backtracked for 16 months in a row since November 2018.

Korea's ICT exports rise for 2nd straight month in March - 1

The ministry said exports of smartphones shot up 11.3 percent to a little over $1.02 billion, with overseas demand for computers and peripheral devices surging 77.6 percent to more than $1.23 billion, thanks mainly to strong sales of solid-state drives.

South Korea is home to Samsung Electronics Co., the world's top memory chip and smartphone maker. Other South Korean tech giants include chip giant SK hynix Inc. and LG Electronics, a leader in home appliances and computers.

But exports of semiconductors fell 2.7 percent to $8.87 billion in March, with a sharp drop in memory chip exports affecting overall performance.

Overseas demand for displays, another key export item, also decreased 4.4 percent on-year to $1.64 billion as manufacturers adjusted output of LCD panels, which offset gains in OLED screens.

Exports to China, the largest overseas market for South Korean ICT exports, reached $7.63 billion, followed by those to Vietnam with $2.45 billion, the United States with $1.98 billion and the European Union with $940 million. Shipments to Japan reached $410 million, the data showed.

For the first three months of 2020, ICT exports gained 0.4 percent from the previous year to $43.11 billion, with imports moving up 0.3 percent to $25.97 billion for a surplus of $17.14 billion in this sector.


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