IT exports surge to record high on back of chips, smartphonesExport of IT products rose to an all-time high last month on a spike in shipments of mobile phones and semiconductors, the government said yesterday.
The exports grew 6.1 percent from the same period last year to $14.55 billion, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
Imports surged 10.9 percent on-year to $7.45 billion with Korea’s trade surplus in the IT sector coming to $7.1 billion.
The ministry attributed the surge in exports to robust demand for smartphones in Europe, among other factors.
Shipments of mobile phones to Europe jumped 79.8 percent on-year to $380 million in October with Korea’s total mobile phone exports coming to $2.26 billion, up 18.1 percent from a year earlier.
“Korea’s mobile phone companies widened their gap further, in terms of their combined global market share with other competitors, such as Apple, a U.S.-based company. This move made Korea the world’s largest supplier of mobile phones for the sixth consecutive quarter in the third quarter,” the ministry said in a press release.
The combined global market share of Korean mobile phone manufacturers grew from 37.1 percent in the second quarter to 39.5 percent in the quarter ending Sept. 30.
Shipments of semiconductors also helped bring the country’s overall IT exports to a two-year high, growing 6.8 percent on-year to $4.64 billion, the largest amount recorded this year, according to the ministry.
China and its special administrative district of Hong Kong imported $7.58 billion of IT products from Korea, up 14.8 percent from a year earlier. This accounted for over half of Korea’s IT exports last month.