South Korea's trade surplus in the information technology sector widened last month from a year earlier as its exports inched up while imports shrank, the government said Monday.
Outbound shipments of IT products edged up 0.2 percent from the same month last year to $13.13 billion in January, partly on growing demands in European and Southeast Asian countries, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
"Despite various external factors, such as the weak Japanese yen and financial instability in newly emerging countries, the country's IT exports posted an on-year growth on growing shipments to member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union," it said in a press release.
The country's trade surplus in the IT sector gained 3.4 percent on-year to $6.32 billion as imports dropped 2.7 percent to $6.81 billion.
Shipments of mobile phones surged 14.6 percent on-year to $2.18 billion, led by a 20.7 percent spike in exports of smartphones.
Shipments of semiconductors jumped 14.8 percent on-year to $4.63 billion as those of DRAM memory chips nearly doubled to $1.4 billion from $720 million in the cited period.
Exports of display panels, on the other hand, fell 15.2 percent on-year to $2.22 billion as shipments to the European Union plunged 41.7 percent to $210 million and those to China, the largest importer of South Korean products, dropped 12.2 percent to $1.57 billion.
By country, overall shipments of South Korea's IT products to China inched up 0.1 percent on-year to $6.54 billion in January, with shipments to the euro zone countries growing 9 percent to $1.24 billion.
Shipments to the United States dropped 17.1 percent to $1.03 billion, with exports to Japan sliding 21.6 percent to $460 million. (Yonhap News)