South Korea’s semiconductor exports surged to record highs in the second quarter of this year, according to the Bank of Korea’s trade statistics Sunday.
The country’s semiconductor export volume index hit 393.97, nearly four times the 100 benchmark in 2010. The export volume also marked a 20.2 percent increase compared to the second quarter of last year, when it stood at 327.86, and a 2.7 percent jump compared to the first quarter of this year.
Industry experts say the continued spike in chip exports is being led by Samsung Electronics and SK hynix, as well as a global rise in semiconductor prices. Last month, Korea’s export price index of semiconductors hit 48.79, the highest in 30 months.
Samsung Electronics announced Thursday that the company’s semiconductor’s operating profit reached 8.03 trillion won ($7.15 billion) in the second quarter, up 2.64 trillion won compared to a year earlier.
In its economic outlook report for this year, the BOK predicted the country’s semiconductor exports would continue to boom on the back of increasing demand, as the world’s chip fabrication spending is reaching record levels. The semiconductor market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 3 to 7 percent over the next five years, according to the bank’s forecast.
According a report by Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International earlier this month, Korea is currently on pace to become the world’s top investor in semiconductor equipment this year as well as next year. The report estimated $49.4 billion would be spent on global fabrication equipment this year, an increase of 19.8 percent from last year.
The report also predicted this year’s record will be broken again next year by some 7.7 percent, as spending is estimated to reach $53.2 billion.
Global market research firm Moody’s also stated Sunday that Korea’s overall exports are expected to continue to spike on the back of rising international demand for Korean semiconductors.
“We expect annual export growth to keep rising at a double-digit pace thanks to the sustained uptick in the tech cycle lifting shipments of semiconductors and machinery,” the report said.
By Julie Jackson (email@example.com