Korea's ICT exports hit US$20.21 billion in October, riding on the back of a continuing semiconductor boom. The figure exceeded US$20 billion for three consecutive months.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Science and ICT announced on Nov. 14 that Korea’s ICT exports in October increased 12.3 percent from the same period of last year. It was the second-largest after US$ 20.28 billion in September of last year. ICT exports grew for 24 consecutive months.
Semiconductors took the lead in improving exports. Semiconductor exports rose 21.5 percent to US$11.71 billion. Memory semiconductor exports inflated 26.5 percent to US$8.87 billion while system semiconductor exports rose 8.3 percent to US$2.3 billion. Cumulative semiconductor exports during the first 10 months of 2018 amounted to US$108.4 billion, exceeding US$99.7 billion last year and breaking through a milestone of US$100 billion in exports for the first time as a single item.
Computer and peripheral exports rose 5.2 percent to US$ 880 million in October. Mobile phone exports fell 14.1 percent to US$1.62 billion due to intensifying competition among global companies. Display sales also slid 10.5 percent to US$2.44 billion due to weaker exports of organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels stemming from base effects and intensifying competition from China's expansion of LCD panel production.
By country, ICT exports to China (including Hong Kong), the largest importer of ICT products from Korea grew 3.3% to US$10.48 billion, while those to Vietnam swelled 7.8 percent to US$2.59 billion. Those to the United States spiked 30.3 percent to US$2.17 billion and those to the European Union surged 44.8 percent to US$1.08 billion. Last month Korea’s ICT imports hit US$10.04 billion, up 10.3 percent from a year earlier. As a result, Korea’s ICT trade balance continued to record a surplus the US$ 10.17 billion level for three months running.