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ICT exports hit fresh monthly high in September

South Korea's exports of information and communication technology (ICT) products reached an all-time high in September on the back of solid global demand for chips and displays, data showed Wednesday.

Outbound shipments of ICT products came to $21.34 billion last month, up 21.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The September figure marked an all-time high since the government began compiling the data in 1996, and the largest for any September after reaching $20.27 billion in 2018.

Imports stood at $11.37 billion last month, up 18.8 percent from the previous year, resulting in a trade surplus of $9.97 billion, the data showed.

Chips and displays boosted the country's ICT exports, with semiconductor shipments surging 27.4 percent on-year to $12.23 billion, topping the $10 billion mark for the fifth consecutive month.

Robust demand led exports of memory chips to rise 28.6 percent to $7.95 billion, and non-memory chips to jump 31.7 percent to a record high of $3.75 billion during the cited period.

Display exports also increased 15.7 percent on-year to $2.44 billion thanks to strong demand for organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) used in smartphones and televisions, according to the data.

By destination, shipments to China, South Korea's largest trading partner, rose 24 percent on-year to $10.12 billion thanks to demand across the board. Chip exports to the country rose 27.7 percent to $7.39 billion, and display shipments went up 5.5 percent to $900 million.

Exports to Vietnam also marked a 15.3 percent increase to $3.59 billion, with those to the United States advancing 27.2 percent to $2.58 billion and those to the European Union rising 11.2 percent to $1.09 billion, the data showed.

South Korea's total exports in September jumped 16.7 percent on-year to a record $55.8 billion, extending their gains to 11 consecutive months on strong auto and chip sales amid the global economic recovery and the transition to digital. (Yonhap)