- Materials, components exports rose 11.8 percent to $316.2 billion in 2018 2019-01-17
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on January 17 that exports of 11 types of industrial materials and components in 2018 rose 11.8 percent year-on-year to USD 316.2 billion.
Imports also improved 5.3 percent to $177.2 billion, making the trade surplus stand at $139.1 billion.
By type, electronic components were responsible for 43.8 percent of the total exports. They were followed by chemical products and primary metals, which represented 15.6 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively.
Exports of electronic components rose 19.6 percent to $138.6 billion. Despite falling memory chip prices, growing demand for semiconductors used in data centers and increasing chip capacity for electronic devices contributed to this growth.
Outbound shipments of chemical products improved 11.3 percent to $49.4 billion thanks to higher prices caused from rising oil prices. Increased output enabled by newly established domestic facilities also helped the expansion.
The value of primary metals shipped overseas went up 10.6 percent to $28.3 billion. Steel prices increased, and exports of non-ferrous metals such as aluminum and copper climbed up.
By region, shipments to most export destinations increased except for the Middle East.
Exports to the U.S. gained 14.8 percent to $32.7 billion, led by electronic components, including DRAM server modules that are used in data centers and for internet-of-things and big data technologies.
Those to China went up 13.6 percent to $101.1 billion on the back of memory semiconductors needed for 5G commercialization and cloud service industries.
Materials and components shipped to the EU increased 14.4 percent to $28.2 billion due to increased sales of chemical products and electronic components.
Meanwhile, outbound shipments to the Middle East decreased 14.6 percent to $9.5 billion because of the impact stemmed from sanctions on Iran.
For imports, inbound shipments of fabricated metals and precision instrument components decreased while those of chemical products and electronic components increased.
The value of chemical products shipped to Korea jumped 13.0 percent to $31.4 billion because more intermediate goods were imported to support growing pharmaceutical exports.
Inbound shipments of textiles improved 7.6 percent to $2.9 billion. This was driven by increased imports of intermediate goods produced by Korean companies that expanded overseas.
Imports of electronic components grew 7.5 percent to $61.1 billion. Robust exports of information and communication technology (ICT) goods drove domestic production growth, which pushed up inbound shipments of intermediate goods to Korea.
Those of general machinery components also expanded 7.3 percent to $19.8 billion mostly due to greater demand for chip manufacturing machines. A strong semiconductor growth was followed by an increase in domestic chip facility investment.
By region, imports from China, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Vietnam expanded while those from the Middle East contracted.
Industrial materials and parts shipped from China climbed 10.7 percent to $54.4 billion mostly because of intermediate goods for semiconductors.
Imports from ASEAN went up 10.2 percent to $20.9 billion as a result of increased demand for primary metals used in trains and airplanes.
Inbound shipments from the Middle East, on the other hand, decreased 36.1 percent to $2.2 billion since demand for jewelry materials slowed down.