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ICT exports in September reach new monthly record of $20.3 billion 2018-10-17

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on October 17 that exports of information and communications technology (ICT) products in September increased 5.3 percent year-on-year, reaching the highest monthly record of USD 20.3 billion.
ICT imports decreased 11.7 percent to $8.0 billion and Korea stayed as a net ICT exporter with a trade surplus of $12.3 billion.

In particular, growths in outbound shipments of semiconductors and computers and peripheral devices helped ICT exports surpass $20 billion for two consecutive months.

Semiconductor exports went up 26.9 percent to a record $12.5 billion with shipments of memory chips increasing 44.5 percent to $9.6 billion. Stronger demand for memory chips enabled overall chip exports to exceed $10 billion for five straight months.

Outbound shipments of computers and peripheral devices rose 4.1 percent to $990 million. Overseas sales of both computers and peripheral devices increased 12.2 percent to $109 million and 3.2 percent to $880 million, respectively.

Meanwhile, the value of displays shipped overseas fell 11.1 percent to $2.6 billion due to fiercer competition in the liquid-crystal display (LCD) market, despite advanced exports of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels.

Mobile phone exports also saw a decrease of 36.6 percent to $1.2 billion because of rising competition between cell phone manufacturers.

By region, ICT exports to China, including Hong Kong, achieved a record high of $11.6 billion, up 16.6 percent from the same period last year. This is attributable to increased shipments of semiconductors (up 34.1 percent to $8.7 billion) and computers and peripheral devices (up 16.5 percent to $470 million).

Those to the EU also climbed up 13.1 percent to $1 billion, posting the 11th consecutive monthly growth. Semiconductors and displays shipped to Europe increased 55.7 percent to $270 million and 10.7 percent to $120 million, respectively.

Meanwhile, ICT goods sold to Vietnam dropped 12.3 percent to $2.5 billion. While displays rose 5.5 percent to $950 million, semiconductors and mobile phones fell 10.7 percent to $900 million and 38.5 percent to $210 million, respectively.

Shipments to the U.S. went down 11.5 percent to $1.7 billion, mostly due to mobile phones (down 40.5 percent to $360 million) and computers and peripheral devices (down 8.5 percent to 200 million). Semiconductor exports, on the other hand, went up 15.5 percent to $630 million.

Those to Japan also declined 14.7 percent to $330 million. Exports of computers and peripheral devices contracted 30.1 percent to $20 million and those of mobile phones decreased 64.2 percent to $10 million.

A breakdown of ICT imports showed a decrease in inbound shipments of all four ICT item categories: semiconductors (down 9.1 percent to $3.6 billion), displays (down 20.7 percent to $450 million), computers and peripheral devices (down 16.0 percent to $900 million), and mobile phones (down 21.1 percent to $660 million).

By country, imports of ICT goods from China saw a decrease of 17.2 percent to $2.9 billion. Shipments from Japan slowed down 17.3 percent to 880 million. Those from Vietnam and the U.S. were also down 9.2 percent to $650 million and 22.1 percent to $590 million, respectively.

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