S. Korea’s ICT exports hit record high in June

July 14, 2021

South Korea’s exports of information and communication technology (ICT) products reached a record high in June, data showed Wednesday, on the back of robust global demand for semiconductors and displays as the global economy picks up steam from the pandemic-induced slump.

Outbound shipments of ICT products stood at US$19.3 billion in June, up 29.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Ministry of Science and ICT.

The figure marks the highest ever for the month and the 13th consecutive month of on-year gains.

The country also exported $103.04 billion worth of ICT products in the first half of 2021, the second-highest amount ever for the January-June period after 2018, when the country shipped $106.95 billion worth of ICT products.

Imports last month reached $10.57 billion, up 17.7 percent from a year earlier, resulting in a trade surplus of $8.73 billion.

By segment, semiconductor shipments surged 34.3 percent on-year to $11.23 billion thanks to rising memory chip prices and strong demand for chips used in mobile devices and personal computers, the ministry said.

Exports of memory chips rose 30.7 percent to $7.54 billion over the cited period, while logic chip shipments jumped 46.5 percent to a record high of $3.13 billion.

Display exports advanced 29.7 percent to $1.95 billion as the global appetite for organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) used in smartphones continued to grow.

OLED exports spiked 61.2 percent to $1.12 billion, while shipments of display parts gained 11.2 percent to $360 million.

Shipments of computers and related parts grew 18.1 percent to $1.49 billion, rising for the fourth consecutive month.

By destination, shipments to China, South Korea’s largest trading partner, rose 28 percent on-year to $9.32 billion, rising for the 10th consecutive month. Semiconductor exports to China rose 37.2 percent to $6.97 billion on strong demand for logic chips.

Exports to Vietnam increased 25.3 percent to $2.67 billion, while those to the United States grew 31.6 percent to $2.56 billion.

South Korea’s total exports in June jumped 39.7 percent on-year to $54.8 billion, extending their gains to an eighth consecutive month on the back of a recovery in global business activities.