South Korea's exports of information-communication technology (ICT) products climbed to a new high in the first six months of the year on growing shipments to China and southeast Asian countries, the South Korean government said Wednesday.
In the six months ended June 30, outbound shipments of ICT products came to US$83.83 billion, up 3.2% from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The country's trade surplus in the ICT sector shrank slightly to $41.68 billion as imports grew at 7.4% on-year to $42.15 billion over the cited period, South Korean News Agency (Yonhap) reported citing the Ministry of Trade.
Still, the surplus in the ICT sector was more than twice the amount of the country's overall trade surplus posted in the first half at $20.28 billion.
"A large increase in shipments of semiconductors and mobile phones helped expand the country's overall ICT exports despite a slowdown in the global market," the ministry said in a press release.
In the first half, shipments of semiconductors jumped 10.6% on-year to $29.3 billion with exports of mobile phones, including smartphones, also spiking 12.6% to $13.1 billion.
Exports of display panels, on the other hand, dropped 8% on-year to $13.76 billion.
By country, shipments to China, including its special administrative region of Hong Kong, gained 4.3% on-year to $41.88 billion, accounting for nearly half of South Korea's overall ICT exports in the first half.
Shipments to the ten member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) inched up 0.9% on-year to $10.52 billion while those to the United States slipped 0.4% to some $8.18 billion.
The ministry forecast the country's ICT exports to continue rising in the second half, partly on an economic recovery in advanced markets, as well as growing shipments to newly emerging countries, such as China.
"However, the slowing growth of the global market, growing competition from Chinese smartphone manufacturers and an anticipated cut in the price of memory chips may work as negative elements against the country's ICT exports in the latter half of the year," it said.