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Korean ICT industry’s exports reach $12.7 billion in February 2019-03-21

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on March 21 that Korea’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry in February reached USD 12.7 billion in exports and $7.3 billion in imports. The trade balance stood at a surplus of $5.4 billion.
Exports of Korean ICT goods last month saw a year-on-year decrease of 19.0 percent. This fourth consecutive monthly decline is mostly a result of slower exports of semiconductors, displays, and mobile phones.

By item, semiconductor exports dropped 24.9 percent to $6.9 billion, decreasing for three straight months. Weaker demand for semiconductors, including those used in servers and mobile phones, and their falling prices contributed to this decline.

Displays shipped abroad weakened 17.2 percent to $1.6 billion. Sales of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels increased, but those of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) contracted due to falling prices caused by fiercer competition.

Mobile phones fell 13.4 percent to $860 million. While newly launched high-end mobile phones pushed up demand for finished products, parts exports saw a slowdown.

Computers and peripheral devices also slid 32.6 percent to $605 million with solid state drives (SSDs) decreasing 51.7 percent to $300 million. SSDs were in less demand and their prices went down.

By region, exports to China shrank 30.4 percent to $5.9 billion. Decreased sales were experienced in semiconductors (down 34.0 percent to $4.0 billion), displays (down 17.0 percent to $840 million), and computers and peripheral devices (down 31.6 percent to $280 million).

ICT goods shipped to Vietnam slipped 1.7 percent to $2.1 billion, declining for two consecutive months. Declines were seen in semiconductors (down 4.9 percent to $990 million), displays (down 2.2 percent to $530 million), and mobile phones (down 21.1 percent to $170 million).

Shipments to the EU slowed down 19.3 percent to $758 million even though exports of secondary batteries gained 24.0 percent to $200 million. Chip exports fell 39.1 percent to $150 million, and display exports contracted 64.5 percent to $50 million.

Exports to Japan also decreased 8.2 percent to $300 million with semiconductors falling 5.7 percent to $100 million and mobile phones dropping 56.1 percent to $10 million.

Exports to the U.S., on the other hand, improved 20.5 percent to $1.4 billion. Semiconductor sales advanced 62.8 percent to $490 million, and mobile phone sales grew 48.4 percent to $390 million on the back of newly introduced models.

Imports experienced a drop of 6.9 percent. Declines by item were seen as follows: semiconductors (down 3.7 percent to $3.2 billion), displays (down 31.2 percent to $325 million), computers and peripheral devices (down 10.6 percent to $900 million, and mobile phones (down 15.0 percent to $549 million).

Regionally, inbound shipments from most destinations declined: China (down 21.3 percent to $2.6 billion), Japan (down 13.2 percent to $736 million), Vietnam (down 0.2 percent to $639 million), and the U.S. (down 8.1 percent to $641 million).

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