The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on July 18 that exports of information and communication technology (ICT) goods in June were worth more than USD 19.1 billion. The monthly export figure is tied for the second-highest ever.
Exports of ICT goods in June surged 20.4 percent compared to a year earlier, achieving double-digit year-on-year growth for the 19th consecutive month, since December 2016.
ICT imports inched downward 3.0 percent year-on-year to $8.6 billion, and the trade surplus in this sector stood at $10.5 billion.
The continued double-digit increase in monthly ICT exports was led by semiconductors and computers and peripheral devices.
Semiconductor exports posted growth for 21 months in a row and registered the highest figure ever of $11.3 billion in June 2018, up 37.5 percent compared to June 2017. This rise is mainly due to continued strength in demand for servers and smartphones.
Exports of computers and peripheral devices rose 47.2 percent to $1.2 billion compared to June last year. Exports of solid-state devices (SSDs) stayed particularly strong, growing 48.9 percent year-on-year to $670 million.
Exports of mobile phones and parts saw a growth for two months in a row now, expanding 3.5 percent to $1.3 billion. This is primarily due to steady sales of smartphones recently launched by Korean phone makers.
Exports of displays decreased 8.5 percent to $2.2 billion. Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels returned to growth, as demand rose, while escalating competition in the liquid-crystal display (LCD) market pushed down overall display shipments.
By region, ICT goods exports to China (including Hong Kong) rose 30.8 percent year-on-year to $10.9 billion, hitting a new high, once again. Semiconductors and computers and peripheral devices, the two main drivers, saw shipment growths of 48.1 percent and 62.7 percent, respectively.
Exports to the U.S. climbed 38.2 percent to $1.9 billion, mostly due to semiconductors (up 61.0 percent to $590 million), mobile phones (up 50.3 percent to $510 million) and computers and peripheral devices (up 67.5 percent to $330 billion).
Exports to the EU advanced 26.6 percent to $1.0 billion, growing for eight consecutive months. Shipments of semiconductors increased 27.3 percent to $240 million, and those of computers and peripheral devices grew 39.6 percent to $120 million.
Shipments to Vietnam slipped 11.9 percent to $1.9 billion as exports of semiconductors, displays and mobile phones to the country all declined 14.2 percent, 1.6 percent, and 24.9 percent, respectively.
Exports to Japan ticked down 1.3 percent to $390 million. Although semiconductor shipments expanded 6.6 percent to $130 million, the overall monthly figure trended down due to sagging export demand for computers and peripheral devices (down 38.0 percent) and displays (down 5.9 percent).
A breakdown of ICT imports shows that inbound shipments of semiconductors rose 10.7 percent to $3.6 billion as both memory conductors (up 27.6 percent) and system semiconductors (up 3.4 percent) flooded in. Imports of computers and peripheral devices surged 16.7 percent to $1.0 billion. Display imports also advanced 3.3 percent to $590 million. Meanwhile, those of mobile phones and parts declined 54.3 percent to $710 million.
ICT imports from Vietnam increased 23.6 percent to $680 million. Inbound shipments from China (including Hong Kong) decreased 7.4 percent to $3.3 billion and those from Japan were down 5.6 percent to $910 million. Finally, those from the U.S. contracted 39.7 percent to $690 million.