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Exports of ICT goods in March grow for the second consecutive month and reach $16.0 billion 2020-04-13

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on April 13 that Korean exports of information and communications technology (ICT) goods in March increased 1.1 percent year-on-year to USD 16.0 billion.

Imports inched up 2.7 percent to $9.4 billion, and the trade balance stood at a surplus of $6.6 billion.

The second consecutive monthly growth in exports was mainly due to increasing sales of mobile phones and computers and periphery devices.

By item, shipments of mobile phones and computers and peripherals saw increases while those of semiconductors and displays experienced decreases.

Exports of semiconductors went down 2.7 percent to $8.9 billion as a result of falling demand for memory chips used in smartphones and PCs. However, system semiconductors recorded the highest export value in history.

Those of displays dropped 4.4 percent to $1.6 billion. Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels grew in demand, but falling sales of liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels led to the decrease in display exports.

The value of mobile phones shipped overseas increased 11.3 percent to $1.0 billion. Both finished products and phone parts grew in sales due to the launching of new premium models including Galaxy Z flip and Galaxy S20.

Shipments of computers and peripheral devices also jumped 77.6 percent to $1.2 billion. This is largely attributable to strong demand (up 176.9 percent to $850 million) for solid-state drives (SSDs) and the resulting surge in peripherals (up 113.0 percent to $1.1 billion).

By region, Korean ICT exports to Vietnam, the U.S., and Japan increased while those to China, and the EU decreased.

Shipments to Vietnam went up 7.9 percent to $2.5 billion on the back of rising sales of semiconductors, displays, and mobile phones.

Exports to the U.S. grew 16.8 percent to $2.0 billion thanks to the increase in semiconductor and computer sales.

Those to Japan also rose 18.9 percent to $410 million due to computers and peripheral devices and secondary batteries.

Meanwhile, shipments to China dropped 5.6 percent to $7.6 billion. Computers and peripherals increased, but semiconductors and displays saw declines.

Korean ICT goods shipped to the EU saw a decrease of 1.2 percent to $940 million. While exports of semiconductors and mobile phones expanded, those of secondary batteries contracted.

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

The value of semiconductors shipped to Korea gained 4.1 percent to $4.2 billion. Imports of system chips increased, but those of memory chips decreased.

Inbound shipments of computers and peripheral devices advanced 10.4 percent to $1.1 billion. Both computers and peripheral devices were in greater demand.

Imports of mobile phones reached $820 million, experiencing a growth of 4.6 percent. Inbound shipments of finished products led the growth in sales.

Imports of displays slowed down 9.8 percent to $360 million as fewer LCD and OLED panels delivered. Those of display parts, however, recorded growth.

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


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