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ICT exports in November total $14.3 billion 2019-12-23

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on December 22 that Korea’s November exports of information and communications technology (ICT) goods amounted to USD 14.3 billion. Imports of these items reached $9.1 billion, and the trade surplus in this sector was $5.2 billion.
Exports fell 21.8 percent compared to the same period last year as a result of falling shipments of semiconductors, display panels, and mobile phones.

By item, semiconductor exports dropped 30.7 percent year-on-year to $7.5 billion due to declining prices of memory chips and diminishing demand for system semiconductors.

Display exports slid 25.0 percent to $1.7 billion mostly because of slower demand for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and decreasing prices of liquid-crystal displays (LCDs).

Mobile phones edged down 0.9 percent to $1 billion. Parts exports saw growth on the back of greater global demand, but shipments of finished products decreased as Korean companies expanded production overseas.

Meanwhile, exports of computers and peripheral devices jumped 22.4 percent to $996 million owing to increased sales of peripherals (up 44.2 percent to $838 million), including solid-state drives (SSDs) whose shipments leaped 67.5 percent to $640 million.

Regionally, shipments to China went down 21.0 percent to $7.1 billion. Exports of computers and peripherals climbed up 7.5 percent to $410 million, but those of chips and displays shrank 27.2 percent to $4.8 billion and 6.3 percent to $920 million, respectively.

Exports to Vietnam decreased 22.2 percent to $2.1 billion due to declined shipments of semiconductors (down 23.6 percent to $790 million) and displays (down 35.3 percent to $670 million). Exports of mobile phones, in contrast, gained 14.5 percent to $200 million.

Those to the U.S. contracted 22.5 percent to $1.6 billion. While computers and peripherals soared 98.6 percent to $290 million, chips and mobile phones declined 40.4 percent to $600 million and 45.7 percent to $180 million, respectively.

ICT exports bound for the EU fell 16.8 percent to $866 million despite increased shipments of mobile phones (up 102.9 percent to $100 million). The decline was mostly attributable to secondary batteries (down 24.6 percent to $180 million) and semiconductors (down 37.4 percent to $140 million).

Shipments to Japan inched up 0.2 percent to $381 million due to greater demand for semiconductors (up 1.0 percent to $130 million) and secondary batteries (up 11.8 percent to $30 million). Display exports, however, decreased 54.7 percent to $10 million.

Imports of ICT goods also dropped 6.9 percent from a year earlier as decreases were seen in inbound shipments of chips (down 14.6 percent to $3.7 billion), displays (down 33.7 percent to $311 million), and mobile phones (down 12.4 percent to $1.1 billion). This was despite increased imports of computers and peripherals (up 24.3 percent to $1.1 billion).

By region, imports from Vietnam rose 18.4 percent to $774 million. Those from the following countries, on the other hand, experienced declines: China (down 28.8 percent to $3.2 billion), Japan (down 9.9 percent to $796 million), and the U.S (down 3.8 percent to $688 million).

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