South Korea’s information and communication technology (ICT) goods exports hit a record half-year high in the first six months of this year, mainly led by strong memory chip shipments, government data showed.
According to the Ministry of Science and ICT on Wednesday, the country’s ICT goods exports grew 18.3 percent to $107.47 billion in January-June this year from the same period a year ago. The figure is the largest ever for a six-month period.
The main growth driver was all-time high shipments of semiconductors amounting to $62.06 billion, which was up a whopping 42.5 percent against a year ago thanks to unfazed global demand for memory chips to power smart devices and vehicles. Exports of PCs and computing peripherals such as solid-state disk (SSD) drives also rose 38.0 percent on year to record high of $5.93 billion.
By country, ICT goods shipments to China plus Hong Kong was the largest, reaching $59.23 billion in the first half of this year and up 26.8 percent against the same period a year earlier. Vietnam came second with ICT exports to the Southeast Asian country growing 9.8 percent on year to $12.72 billion. Over the same period, ICT exports to the United States were up 16.5 percent to $9.51 billion, the European Union up 14.6 percent to $5.94 billion, and Japan up 7.4 percent to $2.23 billion.
In June alone, Korea shipped $19.13 billion worth of ICT goods to countries across the world to mark the second-highest monthly shipments. ICT exports in June jumped 20.4 percent against the same month last year to extend its double-digit growth streak to 19 months. ICT imports amounted to $8.62 billion to deliver a trade surplus of $10.5 billion.
By Won Ho-sup and Cho Jeehyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]