Korea’s exports of information technology products gained 4.7 percent on-year in May on steady global demand for mobile phones and rechargeable batteries, the government said Tuesday.
The country shipped $13.38 billion worth of IT products abroad last month, despite stiff foreign competition and a general drop in demand caused by fewer people buying electronic products in springtime, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in a monthly report.
May’s growth represents the 20th month in a row that exports of locally made IT products have increased compared to the year before and the third consecutive month in which outbound shipments exceeded the $13 billion mark.
According to the report, exports of mobile phones, fueled by a surge in demand for smartphones, increased 38.9 percent on-year to $2.44 billion, with overseas demand for rechargeable lithium batteries jumping 30.7 percent to $240 million. The batteries are used in all mobile IT devices and electricity-driven cars.
Smartphone sales accounted for $1.25 billion of all mobile phone exports, up a staggering 323.3 percent vis-a-vis the year before.
Overseas demand for household appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners and washing machines moved up 6.2 percent to $450 million.
Shipments of TVs and display panels were down 8.2 percent and 6.8 percent each last month, with numbers for semiconductors falling 4.7 percent to $4.18 billion. The decline for semiconductors is mainly due to weak international prices for DRAM chips that accounted for more than 30 percent of all computer chip exports.
Exports to China, including Hong Kong, gained 5.6 percent on-year to $6.17 billion, with shipments to the United States jumping 17.4 percent to $1.74 billion. Sales to Japan and the European Union decreased 3.2 percent and 23.2 percent, respectively, compared to the year before.
Imports of IT products, meanwhile, rose 15.9 percent on-year to $6.94 billion in May, with the country’s trade surplus hitting $6.44 billion. (Yonhap News)
In the first five months of this year, South Korea’s IT exports rose 7.3 percent on-year to $64.15 billion. Inbound shipments in the January-May period increased 16.0 percent on-year to $33.66 billion for a trade surplus of $30.49 billion, the report showed.