The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on November 11 that exports of Korea’s information and communications technology (ICT) products recorded growth for the 17th consecutive month in October, rising 21.5 percent to $19.9 billion.
Imports gained 18.5 percent to $12.1 billion, and the trade balance stood at a surplus of $7.8 billion.
Exports of all major ICT products advanced.
Chip exports saw a year-on-year rise of 28.4 percent to $11.2 billion, exceeding $10.0 billion for six months in a row and achieving a cumulative export value of $100.0 billion as of October. Memory chips (up 28.1 percent to $7.0 billion) recorded growth for 14 consecutive months and system chips (up 32.3 percent to $3.7 billion) also attracted robust demand due to increased foundry production.
Outbound shipments of displays went up 5.8 percent to $2.2 billion and posted growth for 14 consecutive months. Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) increased 8.7 percent to $1.4 billion despite decreased liquid crystal display (LCD) production by Korean firms.
Those of mobile phones amounted to $1.4 billion, up 17.4 percent compared to the same period last year. Increased sales of premium smartphones and demand for high value-added parts led to the expansion. Both finished products (up 9.0 percent to $400 million) and parts (up 21.2 percent to $970 million) climbed up.
Computers and peripheral devices jumped 48.6 percent to $1.5 billion. Peripheral devices (up 55.4 percent to $1.3 billion) showed noticeable increases due to strong sales of auxiliary memory devices (up 59.9 percent to $1.1 billion). Solid-state drives (SSDs) also showed robust demand as the digital transformation sped up.
The value of ICT goods shipped to all major export destinations increased.
Korea’s ICT goods shipped to China increased for 14 straight months and recorded a 25.2 percent growth to $9.3 billion. This is attributable to strong demand for semiconductors, displays and mobile phones.
Those to Vietnam rose 10.9 percent to $3.3 billion thanks to robust sales of chips and displays.
Shipments to the United States (U.S.) totaled $2.4 billion (up 29.0 percent), increasing for 22 straight months. Semiconductors, computers and peripheral devices, and secondary batteries led to the improvement.
Those to the European Union (EU) amounted to $1.0 billion, up 6.0 percent on the back of chips, computers and peripheral devices, and mobile phones.
ICT goods shipped to Japan moved up 23.2 percent to $377 million due to semiconductors, computers and peripherals, and secondary batteries.