The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on March 17 that exports of information and communication technology (ICT) goods jumped 24.2 percent to USD 15.6 billion in April, setting a new record for the month of April.
In April, outbound shipments of ICT goods grew at the fastest pace in 80 months since August 2010. They rose for the sixth consecutive month and at a double-digit rate for the fifth straight month, according to the Ministry’s analysis of preliminary custom data.
Imports in this segment advanced 8.5 percent year-on-year to $7.9 billion, and surplus in trade of ICT goods stood at $7.7 billion.
The growth of ICT exports was led by strong sales of semiconductors, displays, and computers and peripheral devices.
Semiconductor exports soared 59.1 percent to $7.2 billion as newly launched smart phones are installed with higher-capacity memory chips and prices of NAND flash memory chips continued to rise.
Outbound shipments of displays climbed up 6.9 percent to $2.3 billion on more demand for liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, marking the sixth consecutive month of growth. Exports of computers and peripheral devices surged 24 percent to $678 million, thanks to strong sales of solid state drives (SSDs), which grew 74.1 percent to around $400 million.
Exports of mobile phones and parts shrank 19.3 percent to $1.8 billion. The launch of new flagship phones of Korean manufacturers helped slow down the decline -- they had contracted 31.3 percent in March and 25.9 percent in February.
By region, ICT exports to China, Vietnam, the U.S., and the European Union expanded.
Shipments of ICT goods to China jumped 19.3 percent to $7.5 billion, marking the fifth consecutive month of growth. Exports of mobile phones and displays to China contracted, but those of semiconductors soared 60.5 percent to $4.6 billion.
Exports to Vietnam leaped 70.5 percent to $2.2 billion, while those to the U.S. and the EU advanced 3.9 percent to $1.7 billion and 7.6 percent to $848 million.
A breakdown of ICT imports showed that inbound shipments of semiconductors climbed up 3.1 percent to $3.1 billion. Purchases of displays and computers and peripheral devices also surged 45.5 percent to $523 million and 11.5 percent to $875 million, respectively, while imports of mobile phones and parts inched down 2.2 percent to $877 million.
Imports of ICT goods from the U.S. and Vietnam rose by 22.6 percent to $768 million and 32.8 percent to $571 million, respectively. Purchases from China including Hong Kong contracted 2.5 percent to $2.8 billion, while those from Japan declined 12.5 percent to $832 million.
Korea continued to post a trade surplus with China, Vietnam, the U.S., and the EU.
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