Seoul’s ICT exports hit high in September

Seoul, Oct 13 (IANS) South Korea’s exports of information and communication technology (ICT) products hit this year’s monthly high in September thanks to robust sales of chips and handsets, a government report showed on Tuesday.

The ICT exports grew 1.6 percent from a year earlier to $15.9 billion in September, the largest monthly figure in 2015, Xinhua quoted the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning as showing.

Imports in the tech sector gained 1.4 percent to $7.77 billion, sending the September ICT trade surplus to $8.13 billion. It was the first time this year for the ICT surplus to exceed $eight billion.

Solid demand for locally-made semiconductors and handsets bolstered up overall tech exports despite sluggish market conditions. According to market researcher Gartner, the global ICT market was expected to slow down 4.9 percent this year.

For the first nine months of this year, shipments of handsets and semiconductors picked up more than five percent compared with the same period of last year. It was in a stark contrast to a 6.6 percent decline for overall exports in the same period.

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics recently rolled out cheaper phone models amid fiercer competition with devices like Apple’s iPhone and lower-end outfits including Xiaomi.

In September alone, handset exports surged 34.1 percent compared with a year ago, with shipments of chips and digital TVs increasing 0.8 percent and 9.3 percent respectively.

Shipments of display panels tumbled 14.5 percent year-on-year last month, and exports of computers and related devices slumped nine percent.

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