The Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning announced on January 25 that South Korea’s export from its ICT sector totaled US$14.74 billion in December last year, up 13.3% from a year ago. The monthly export showed a double-digit growth for the first time in 38 months and rose for the second consecutive month. The rate of year-on-year growth was 3.3% in November 2016, when it showed a positive growth for the first time since September 2015.
According to the ministry, last year’s total export from the sector added up to US$162.5 billion, down 6% from a year earlier, while import decreased 1.8% to US$89.73 billion to result in an annual trade surplus of US$72.77 billion.
The exports of computers and peripherals rose to US$7.61 billion, solid state drives to US$3.79 billion and OLED to US$6.2 billion. On the other hand, mobile phone exports fell 16.2% to US$24.34 billion and display exports declined 15.6% to US$27.44 billion.
Last year, semiconductor and display imports totaled US$36.61 billion (down 4.4% year on year) and US$4.74 billion (down 18.7%), respectively. Mobile phone imports increased 3.1% to US$9.91 billion and the imports of computers and peripherals increased 6.4% to US$9.58 billion. Imports from Japan and Vietnam rose to US$10.67 billion and US$5.06 billion while those from China including Hong Kong and the United States decreased to US$34.95 billion and US$8.03 billion, respectively.
The ministry explained that the export from the sector dropped 10.4% year on year and reached US$76.38 billion in the first half of last year but the rate of decline stood at 1.7% in the second half.