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(SEJONG=Yonhap News) South Korea's exports of information and communications technology (ICT) products rose for the third consecutive month in January on the back of brisk overseas sales of semiconductors and displays, government data showed Wednesday.
ICT exports reached US$13.83 billion last month, rising by a nearly four-year high of 16.7 percent from the $11.85 billion tallied a year ago, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The outbound shipment of such products had declined since October 2015, when it edged down 1.6 percent from a year earlier.
Imports of foreign ICT products also jumped 14.8 percent on-year to $7.79 billion last month, with the country logging a trade surplus of $6.05 billion in the sector.
Exports of ICT products accounted for 34.3 percent of the country's entire exports of $40.33 tallied in the same month, with the percentage going to 20.9 percent for imports.
The ministry said rising demand for South Korean semiconductors, displays and computers contributed to the improvement in ICT exports, offsetting weak exports of mobile phones.
Outbound shipments of semiconductors made by Asia's fourth-largest economy soared 41.6 percent on-year last month to reach a record $6.41 billion on the back of recovering demand for memory chips and a price hike, according to the data.
Exports of displays also vaulted 15.6 percent on-year for the third month in a row in January, while those of computers and computer equipment gained 7.9 percent last month.
On the other hand, combined overseas sales of mobile phones and parts tumbled 36.4 percent to $1.21 billion last month from a year earlier, extending their losing streak to 10 months.
By region, shipments to Vietnam shot up 83.3 percent on-year, while those to China, including Hong Kong, and Japan rose 7.8 percent and 11.6 percent on-year, respectively.
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Source: Yonhap News (Feb. 15, 2017)