중앙데일리

IT exports continue surge in August

Sept 08,2010
The volume of Korea’s information technology exports continued to surge year-on-year in August, boosted by high demand for semiconductors and display panels, according to figures released by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy yesterday. IT exports surged 26.5 percent last month compared to the previous year, reaching $13.4 billion.

Shipments of semiconductors increased 64.9 percent to a record $4.7 billion, mainly led by the improved memory chip industry. Exports of display panels also jumped 25.4 percent to $3.2 billion as product demand was high, especially in China, Hong Kong and the European Union.

China was Korea’s biggest IT market, worth $6.2 billion, followed by the European Union with $1.7 billion, the United States with $1.4 billion, and Japan with $670 million. Exports also included countries in Central America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the export of cell phones decreased 18.4 percent in August to $1.8 billion, due to a drop in export unit costs, increased overseas production and low demand for ordinary cell phones.

Though smartphones are gaining popularity worldwide, local manufacturers started releasing devices relatively recently.

In the fourth quarter of this year the ministry predicts that the volume of Korea’s cell phone exports will grow as a variety of local smartphones are expected to be released in the competitive market.

“The overall trend of the growing volume of Korea’s IT exports will slow, especially for semiconductors and panels, as there are an increasing number of stocked items,” said a ministry official. “Still, there will be some seasonal demand.”

While Korea’s IT trade surplus remained in the black with $7.03 billion in August for the seventh straight month, the volume of imports for the IT sector increased 16.5 percent year-on-year, reaching $6.38 billion. More than half of total imports were electronics, computers and computer components.

Imports mostly came from China with $2.1 billion, followed by Japan with $1 billion, and Taiwan with $830 million.


By Lee Eun-joo [angie@joongang.co.kr]



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