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Korea’s ICT exports and trade surplus reach all-time high in 2018

According to Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea,

South Korea’s exports of information and communication technology (ICT) products reached a record high of $220.4 billion last year and its trade surplus also hit the highest level at $113.3 billion, primarily thanks to semiconductors, government data showed Thursday.

According to the preliminary data released by the Ministry of Science and ICT, the nation’s ICT exports in 2018 rose 11.5 percent from the previous year to $220.4 billion, exceeding the $200 billion mark for the first time.

Shipments of chips surged 28.6 percent on year to $128.1 billion, becoming the first product that surpassed the $120 billion level. Exports of computers and peripherals reached $11.27 billion, also up 17.4 percent.

Display shipments, on the other hand, declined 8.4 percent to $27.76 billion, hit by a 21 percent fall in liquid crystal display (LCD) shipments that amounted to $13.66 billion amid oversupply. Exports of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) rose 11.7 percent to $10.3 billion.

Due to the fierce competition from Chinese makers and expanded overseas production of components, mobile phone shipments plunged 23.2 percent to $14.61 billion.

By region, ICT exports to China including Hong Kong rose 14.4 percent on year to $119.4 billion. Shipments to Vietnam grew 8.1 percent to $27.89 billion, the U.S. 13.2 percent to $20.54 billion.

The nation’s chip imports increased 8.5 percent from a year ago to $44.95 billion in 2018. Imports of display and computers and peripherals gained about 10 percent to $6.74 billion and $12.85 billion, respectively, while mobile phone imports slipped 17.5 percent to $10.03 billion.

Trade surplus of ICT products also reached a record high of $113.3 billion in 2018. Trade surplus with China and Hong Kong took up the largest share of 65.6 percent at $74.35 billion, followed by Vietnam $19.36 billion, the U.S. $11.93 billion and the European Union $5.22 billion.

By Won Ho-sup and Choi Mira

Copyrights Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea. All Rights Reserved.

Source: Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea (January 17, 2019)

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