Exports from Korea’s information technology sector have been rising for six consecutive months.
The Ministry of Knowledge and Economy (MKE) said on March 7 that the country’s IT exports were up 1.9% to US$11.85 billion, imports down 10.4% to US$5.49 billion, leading to a trade surplus of US$6.36 billion.
Such strong results were made possible by key IT products’ shift towards a high value-added category and their increased export competitiveness.
Cellphone exports, at US$1.49 billion, were up 21.8% year-over-year. Smartphone exports, however, stood at a mere US$700 million, a decline of 4% from the same month a year ago hammered by a short period of operation resulting from long Lunar New Year’s Day holidays.
Semiconductor exports rose 0.9% to reach US$3.9 billion, buoyed by robust sales of system semiconductors, resulting in five consecutive months of rises.
Display panel exports also went up for eight months in a row, to USD2.37 billion, up 4.6% from a month earlier, thanks to stabilized global prices and launch of new TV models.
One ministry official said, “IT exports will continue to rise supported by smooth recovery in the global IT markets and strong growth mainly in smartphones and system semiconductors,” adding, “But, the recent trend of a strong won and a weak yen will likely make a dent in exports.”