South Korea’s exports of information communication technology products rose to a record high for 2015 in September, fueled by increased shipments of flagship items, government data showed Tuesday.
Outbound shipments of ICT products amounted to US$15.9 billion last month, up 1.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The increase marks the second month in a row that outbound shipments of ICT products rose on-year.
Imports also gained 1.4 percent on-year to $7.77 billion last month, with the country logging a surplus of $8.13 billion in this sector.
The increase in ICT exports from Asia’s fourth-largest economy was attributed to outbound shipments of mobile phones, semiconductors and digital TVs.
In September, exports of smartphones surged 34.1 percent on-year to $2.83 billion, following the release of the latest models such as the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus by Samsung Electronics Co., the ministry said.
Shipments of semiconductors edged up 0.8 percent on-year to $5.86 billion on a rising demand for multichip packages and image sensors. The rise is deemed noteworthy because it comes at a time when prices of key semiconductors such as dynamic random access memory and NAND flash memory chips fell on the international market.
Digital TV sales, which had remained weak, jumped 23.8 percent on-year to $500 million last month.
On the other hand, exports of display panels, computers and related products lost ground, mainly due to very weak global demand.
By region, shipments to China, the world’s single largest market for South Korean products, moved up 6.4 percent on-year to $8.78 billion, with exports to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries gaining 15.5 percent to $2.25 billion.
Shipments to the United States expanded 3.9 percent on-year to $1.44 billion, while exports to the European Union fell 8.2 percent to $990 million.
In the first nine months of this year South Korea’s ICT exports edged up 0.2 percent on-year to $129.5 billion.
“ICT exports helped prop up the country’s exports, which lost ground in 2015,” the ministry said.
In the first three quarters of this year, outbound shipments of all products backtracked 6.6 percent on-year to $397.1 billion, according to the data. (Yonhap)