The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said on February 15 that Korea’s ICT exports in January rose 16.7 percent to US$13.83 billion compared to US$11.85 billion in the same month of last year. January’s ICT export growth rate was the highest in 44 months since 18.6 percent in May 2013.
ICT exports, which had been on a steady decline for the 13th consecutive month until October of last year, chalked up an increase for the third consecutive month until January of 2017.
According to ICT exports in January, semiconductor exports ballooned to US$6.41 billion, up 41.6 percent from a year earlier. This figure eclipses US$5.95 billion, the highest monthly record set in 2014.
Display exports grew 15.6 percent from US$2.01 billion a year ago to US$2.32 billion. Computer and peripheral exports rose 7.9 percent to US$ 630 million from US$590 million in the same period, backed by strong exports of auxiliary storage devices such as SSDs.
Mobile phone exports, on the other hand, hit US$1.21 billion, down 36.4 percent from US$1.9 billion a year ago. Analysis says that the drop is blamed on Samsung Electronics's Galaxy Note 7 discontinuance and intensifying competition in the world market.
ICT imports in January added up to US$7.77 billion, up 14.8 percent from US$6.78 billion a year earlier. By item, mobile phone exports (US$890 million), semiconductor exports (US$3.06 billion) and display exports (US$430 million) swelled 39.8 percent, 9.4 percent and 17.8 percent, respectively.
ICT trade surplus in January totaled US$6.05 billion, contributing to the overall industry's surplus of US$3.2 billion.