South Korean exports of information and communication technology (ICT) products fell for the seventh straight month in May on weak demand for semiconductors, mobile phones and displays, data showed Friday.
Total outbound shipments reached US$14.3 billion last month, a plunge of 22.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Science and ICT.
Exports of semiconductors, one of the country's key export items, nose-dived 30 percent on-year to a little over $7.6 billion, mainly due to falling global market prices for memory and lower demand for system chips, the data showed.
This is the sixth month in a row that semiconductor exports have contracted vis-a-vis the year before.
Shipments of displays, another key ICT product for Asia's fourth-largest economy, stood at slightly above $1.6 billion, marking a 21.5 percent drop from a year earlier due to stiffer overseas competition mainly in the liquid crystal display sector.
The data showed exports of mobile phones falling a sharp 33.9 percent on-year to $930 million for the one-month period, amid a slowdown in the global market.
On the other hand, global demand for locally made rechargeable batteries rose 5.2 percent to $620 million, with sales of organic light-emitting diode panels, increasing 3.7 percent from a year earlier to $620 million.
By region, shipments to China, including Hong Kong, dropped 31.5 percent to around $7.1 billion, with figures for the United States backtracking 15.5 percent on-year to just under $1.5 billion. Exports to the European Union, another key market, fell 16 percent to $850 million.
The latest data showed exports to Vietnam moved up 1.6 percent to $1.9 billion with corresponding numbers for Japan standing at $370 million, for a gain of 3.5 percent from the same month in 2018.
The ministry said the country imported some $9.7 billion worth of ICT products for the whole of last month, leading to a surplus topping $4.6 billion.(Yonhap)
Cho Kyung Hee firstname.lastname@example.org