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S. Korea's ICT Exports Surge 29.1% in Feb, Driven by Chips

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP / Unsplash

Sejong, South Korea - South Korea's information and communications technology (ICT) exports showed a strong rebound in February 2024, rising 29.1% year-on-year to $16.5 billion, according to data released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE). 

However, imports fell 6.7% to $10.3 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $6.3 billion.

The export surge was mainly driven by the semiconductor industry, which posted double-digit growth for the fourth consecutive month. 

Semiconductor exports surged 62.9% to $10.0 billion, supported by increased demand from the expanding artificial intelligence market. 

Memory chip exports surged 108.1% to $6.1 billion, while system chip exports rose 27.2% to $3.4 billion.

Display exports also contributed to overall growth, rising 18.7% to $1.6 billion as demand for televisions, mobile phones, and other IT devices recovered.

Both OLED and LCD exports increased during the month.

However, mobile phone exports fell by 21.3% to $0.8 billion despite robust demand for finished products due to the release of new models. 

This decline was attributed to a 36.9% drop in demand for parts from overseas companies, which fell to $0.5 billion.

Regionally, ICT exports to China (including Hong Kong) increased by 43.8% to $7.4 billion, marking the fourth consecutive month of growth. 

This was primarily due to technological advances such as semiconductors and displays. 

Exports to Vietnam also grew for the seventh consecutive month, rising 24.3% to $2.6 billion, led by semiconductors and displays.

Exports to the United States expanded for the fourth consecutive month, rising 13.5% to $1.9 billion, as semiconductors, computer peripherals, and other vital items met increased demand. 

However, exports to the European Union fell slightly by 0.5% to $0.9 billion, despite solid gains in semiconductors and cell phones, as exports of secondary batteries plunged 54.7% to $0.1 billion.