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Korea’s ICT industry posts exports of $15.8 billion in September 2019-10-23

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on October 21 that Korean exports of information and communications technology (ICT) goods in September decreased 22 percent to USD 15.8 billion from a year earlier. Shipments of mobile phone parts expanded, but those of semiconductors and displays contracted.
ICT imports, on the other hand, grew 9.8 percent year-on-year to $8.8 billion. The trade balance in this sector was a surplus of $7.0 billion.

By item, semiconductor shipments fell 31.5 percent to $8.6 billion even though system chip exports recorded an all-time high of $2.4 billion. This was largely because of memory chip prices that continued declining.

Display exports slid 20.0 percent to $2.1 billion, dragged down by falling shipments of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. Exports of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels, however, saw growth.

Outbound shipments of mobile phones improved 2.8 percent to $1.2 billion on the back of greater overseas demand for parts. This was the first growth in exports since July 2018. While exports of finished products dropped 39.8 percent to $250 million, those of parts climbed up 26.4 percent to $940 million.

Exports of computers and peripheral devices totaled $829 million, down 16.2 percent. Computer exports gained 39.3 percent to $152 million, but peripheral device exports sank 23.1 percent to $677 million. Demand for solid state drives (SSDs) decreased 20.3 percent to $510 million.

By destination, exports to Vietnam and Japan rose, but those to China, the U.S., and the EU fell.

The value of Korean ICT goods shipped to Vietnam moved up 7.1 percent to $2.6 billion owing to greater demand for semiconductors (up 6.7 percent to $960 million) and mobile phones (up 47.4 percent to $290 million).

Shipments to Japan expanded 17.2 percent to $380 billion due to computers and peripheral devices (up 107.9 percent to $40 million), secondary batteries (up 59.5 percent to $30 million), and displays (up 10.3 percent to $20 million).

Meanwhile, exports to China declined 33.1 percent to 7.8 billion as a result of decreasing shipments of semiconductors (down 38.6 percent to $5.3 billion), displays (down 26.4 percent to $910 million), and computers and peripheral devices (down 23.8 percent to $360 million).

Shipments to the U.S. went down 13.5 percent to $1.5 billion after declines were seen in exports of semiconductors (down 4.1 percent to $600 million) and mobile phones (down 57.5 percent to $150 million). Exports of computers and peripheral devices experienced an expansion of 8.5 percent to $210 million.

Exports bound for the EU dropped 7.1 percent to $930 million. Sales of secondary batteries and mobile phones gained 17.6 percent to $230 million and 69.3 percent to $70 million, respectively, but those of semiconductors decreased 20 percent to $220 million.

For imports, inbound shipments of chips increased 9.4 percent to $3.9 billion. Imports of system chips and memory chips went up 11.1 percent to $1.8 billion and 13.6 percent to $1.5 billion, respectively.

Imports of computers and peripheral devices ticked up 1.4 percent to $909 million with computers increasing 14.8 percent to $565 million and peripherals decreasing 14.9 percent to $344 million.

The value of mobile phones shipped to Korea jumped 44.3 percent to $871 million largely because of parts that saw a growth of 13.9 percent to $540 million.

Display imports amounted to $329 million, down 35.0 percent. Even though inbound shipments of OLED panels increased 21.7 percent to $100 million, those of parts and LCD panels decreased 17.1 percent to $120 million and 61.9 percent to $100 million, respectively.

Regionally, imports from Vietnam rose 58.5 percent to $1.1 billion, led by mobile phones (up 76.1 percent to $640 million).

ICT goods delivered from the U.S. went up 9.5 percent to $663 million because of computers and peripheral devices (up 22.8 percent to $50 million) and chips (up 6.4 percent to $280 million).

Shipments from China saw a decline of 15.6 percent to $2.7 billion. This is attributable to semiconductors (down 34.7 percent to $860 million) and displays (down 58.7 percent to 90 million).

Imports from Japan inched down 1.0 percent to $876 million mainly due to displays (down 4.5 percent to $80 million).

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