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Korea's IT exports reach $9.85B in August

Posted: 06 Sep 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Ministry of Information and Communications? IT export? South Korea? Sean Shim?

South Korea's exports of information technology products reached $9.85 billion last month, a 13.3 percent rise over $8.7 billion a year ago, according to a report from the Ministry of Information and Communications. Boosted by a recovery in shipments of mobile phones and the continued brisk mood in the semiconductor, display panel and digital TV sectors, the August performance was the highest monthly result so far this year and compared with $8.88 billion in July, which represented a 6.3 percent year-on-year increase.

The industry's imports during August totaled $4.94 billion, up 6.9 percent over a year earlier, contributing to the $4.91 billion IT trade surplus, an $840 million increase over a year before. Information-providing devices including personal computers as well as semiconductors for mobile phones and digital home appliances accounted for the bulk of the inbound shipments.

The country is also a major exporter of semiconductors. Exports of semiconductors amounted to $3.12 billion in August, a 13.6 percent rise over a year before.

In particular, overseas shipments of memory chips focused on DRAMs increased 4.2 percent on a yearly basis to $1.47 billion in the month, the monthly highest since October 2004. Exports of multi-chip packages, which showed a 127.9 percent year-on-year jump to $300 million, also contributed to the semiconductor sector's performance.

A recovery in exports of mobile phones, South Korea's another major export category, helped the country boost IT business abroad in August, according to the ministry.

Despite fierce competition and growth of low-end product sales in the global markets and expansion of domestic makers' overseas production, the country posted $2.2 billion in outbound shipments of mobile phones, which registered a 5.3 percent increase over a year ago, by delivering new premium models targeting differentiated markets, the ministry reported. The country's exports of mobile phones amounted to $1.9 billion in July, down 3.6 percent over a year earlier.

Outbound shipments of display panels and digital TVs in August jumped 58 percent year-on-year to $1.58 billion and 34.4 percent to $740 million, respectively. The ministry added both figures represent the monthly record highs in the country's industrial history.

By destination, China remained the largest buyer of South Korean IT products, with exports to the country increasing 8.3 percent over a year earlier, to $3.42 billion in August. China's purchase of Korean mobile phones and semiconductors totaled $580 million, up 30.7 percent year-on-year, and $1.13 billion, up 14.3 percent, respectively.

Shipments to the United States also rose 7.6 percent year-on-year, to $1.17 billion, in August. It was the first time for the country's monthly IT exports to the United States to show growth on a yearly basis since February 2005.

Exports to the nations of the European Union also jumped 17.4 percent year-on-year, to $1.69 billion, affected by brisk sales of semiconductors and digital TVs, while shipments to Japan rose 19.3 percent to $760 million owing to increases in sales of semiconductors, display panels and mobile phones.

The ministry predicted the country's IT exports in the upcoming months would continue to show a buoyant mood, citing a continuing recovery in the mobile phone sector and the second-half seasonal high-demand tendency in the industry worldwide.

- Sean Shim
EE Times

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