South Korea’s Exports of ICT Goods have plummeted for 13 Consecutive Months

South Korea's exports of ICT goods have plummeted for 13 consecutive months

In November, South Korea’s exports of ICT goods have plummeted for 13 consecutive months. It has been slow to export main ICT items including semiconductors, display panels, and mobile phones.


According to a report from the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, Korea exported US$ 14.31 billion of ICT goods and imported US$ 9.09 billion in November, showing a trade surplus of US$ 5.22 billion. In November of each year, the figure for this year was the lowest in terms of ICT exports since November 2011, when ICT exports amounted to US$ 12.94 billion.


While Korea maintains an ICT trade surplus, its ICT exports have continued to decline since November last year for 13 straight months. ICT exports fell by 21.8% in November last year from the same month.


Per item, there was a decrease in exports of three key items–semiconductors, display panels, and mobile phones. Due to falling memory chip prices and rising demand for system semiconductors, semiconductor exports plummeted 30.7 percent year-on-year to US$ 7.48 billion.


Display panel exports have fallen to US$ 1.71 billion by 25.0 percent due to lower demand for organic light-emitting diode (OELD) panels and lower prices for liquid crystal display panels (LCD).


Mobile phone exports fell to US$ 1.02 billion year-on-year by 0.9 percent in November due to slow exports of finished products. Exports of mobile phone components, however, increased to US$ 0.68 billion by 15.9 percent.


ICT exports to China by nation (including Hong Kong), Korea’s largest importer of ICT goods, dropped by 21.0%. Exports of semiconductors and display panels decreased by 27.2% and 6.3% respectively, but exports of mobile phones increased by 17.3%. China accounts for 49.9% of Korea’s exports of ICT.


Exports to Vietnam also dropped 22.2% year-on-year in November, with semiconductors and display panels showing a decline of 23.6% and 35.3% respectively.


Exports to the United States and the European Union (EU) have declined by 22.5 percent and 16.8 percent, respectively, but exports to Japan rose by 0.2 percent in November from last year’s same month.


Exports of ICT by small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-sized enterprises fell by 5.9% to US$ 3.52 billion. Exports of semiconductors (-6.3%) and computers and peripherals(-13.6%) decreased, but electrical equipment including secondary batteries increased by 10.6% to $0.31 billion.