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Korea’s February ICT exports record $13.7 billion, increasing for the first time in 16 months 2020-03-11
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on March 11 that Korean exports of information and communications technology (ICT) goods in February increased for the first time in 16 months and grew 8.5 percent year-on-year to USD 13.7 billion.

Imports went up 5.7 percent to $7.7 billion, and the trade balance stood at a surplus of $6.0 billion.

Outbound shipments of all items except for displays experienced increases.

Exports of semiconductors went up 9.3 percent to $7.5 billion and increased year-on-year for the first time in 15 months. Demand for both memory (up 2.9 percent to $4.6 billion) and system (up 27.5 percent to $2.4 billion) semiconductors improved.

The value of mobile phones shipped overseas inched up 4.7 percent to $900 million. Shipments of finished products decreased, but the boost in phone parts resulting from overseas production and demand for high-end parts led to the rise in exports.

Shipments of computers and peripheral devices jumped 87.8 percent to $1.1 billion. This is largely attributable to the surging demand for the peripherals (up 126.6 percent to $1.0 billion) such as solid-state drives (SSDs) which increased 171.7 percent to $830 million.

Meanwhile, those of displays dropped 14.9 percent to $1.3 billion due to falling sales of liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels despite higher demand for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels.

By region, Korean ICT exports to all major regions saw growth.

Shipments to China gained 4.9 percent to $6.2 billion on the back of rising sales of semiconductors and computers and peripheral devices.

Exports to Vietnam went up 12.9 percent to $2.3 billion due to increasing demand for semiconductors, displays, and mobile phones.

Outbound shipments to the U.S. grew 19.5 percent to $1.7 billion because of increasing demand for semiconductors and computers and peripheral devices.

Korean ICT goods shipped to the EU saw a growth of 14.6 percent to $870 million as exports of secondary batteries, semiconductors, and mobile phones increased.

Those to Japan went up 12.1 percent to $340 million. Increases were seen in shipments of secondary batteries and computers and peripheral devices.

For imports, semiconductors advanced while displays, computers and peripheral devices, and mobile phones shrank.

The value of semiconductors shipped to Korea gained 23.3 percent to $3.9 billion. Imports of both system chips and memory chips increased.

Imports of displays slowed down 16.0 percent to $270 million due to fewer display parts and LCD panels delivered. Those of OLED panels, however, recorded growth.

Inbound shipments of computers and peripheral devices fell 13.5 percent to $790 million. Peripheral devices were in greater demand, but imports of computers declined.

Imports of mobile phones reached $540 million, experiencing a slight decrease of 2.0 percent. The decrease is attributable to the reduced inbound shipments of finished products.

By import origin, shipments from Vietnam grew while those from China, Japan, and the U.S. contracted.

The value of ICT goods delivered from Vietnam went up 16.0 percent to $750 million, led by mobile phones.

Those from China, on the other hand, went down 30.3 percent to $2.1 billion due to semiconductors and displays.

Imports from Japan declined 0.5 percent to $740 million due to decreased shipments of displays.

Inbound shipments from the U.S. edged down 0.2 percent to $650 million mostly because of computers and peripheral devices.

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