According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Science and ICT, in February, Korea’s ICT exports amounted to US$15.73 billion, its ICT imports amounted to US$7.81 billion, and its ICT trade surplus was US$7.92 billion.
ICT exports in February increased 12.0 percent from the same month of last year. As a result, ICT exports recorded double-digit growth for 15 consecutive months since December 2016. Since February 2017, ICT exports have hit a record high successively for the 13th consecutive month, setting a new record.
By item, last month, exports of semiconductors rose 40.8 percent year on year to US$9.15 billion. Semiconductor exports have reached upwards of US$9 billion for the past six months in a row.
Among semiconductors, memory semiconductor exports (US$6.54 billion) surged 56.1 percent due to strong exports of DRAMs, NAND flashes, and memory multi-chip packages (MCPs).
Exports of system semiconductors (US$1.99 billion) were up 11.2 percent. Exports of computers and peripherals (US$ 900 million) also leaped up for the 11th consecutive month, up 29.2 percent from the same period of last year thanks to strong exports of solid state drives (SSD).
In the meantime, display exports (US$1.85 billion) shrank 20 percent as competition in the LCD panel sector intensified and prices of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) slipped. Mobile phone exports (US$1 billion) also fell 32.9 percent. This was attributed to the expansion of overseas production in Vietnam among others and waiting demand for the launch of new smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S9 in March.
By region, ICT exports increased to China (US$8.47 billion, 14.1 percent), Vietnam (US$2.11 billion, 34.1 percent), the US (US$1.19 billion, 6.4 percent), the EU (US$980 million, 6.2 percent) and other countries. This means that Korea enjoyed rises in ICT exports to major countries.
ICT imports rose 6.9 percent. By item, semiconductor exports (US$3.29 billion) climbed 9.1 percent with exports of memory semiconductors taking the lead. Imports of computers and peripherals (US$1 billion) also inflated 17.3 percent.