The Korea Herald


January ICT exports hit record high

By Kim Yon-se

Published : Feb. 14, 2022 - 16:52

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A container terminal at Busan Harbor (Yonhap) A container terminal at Busan Harbor (Yonhap)
SEJONG -- The nation’s exports of information and communication technology products enjoyed their best January on record last month, state data showed Monday.

The record was driven by growths in exports to five major destinations for ICT products -- China, Vietnam, the US, EU, and Japan.

According to the Ministry of Science and ICT, Korea’s outbound shipments of ICT products recorded $19.6 billion last month, up 20.7 percent from $16.2 billion in January 2021 amid robust export performance since the first half of last year.

ICT product exports increased for the 10th consecutive month on the back of growing demand for items such as semiconductors, OLED TVs, and computer devices.

The figure for January 2022 outstripped the former January-high of $17.6 billion, posted in 2018. The daily average exports of ICT goods also recorded a record high of $890 million last month, based on figures for each January over the past years.

By export destination, shipments to China, including Hong Kong, rose by 24.3 percent on-year, the EU by 16.1 percent, Vietnam by 12.4 percent, the US by 8.6 percent, and Japan by 1.4 percent.

China accounted for 46.8 percent of Korea’s total ICT exports. Vietnam was next with 16.9 percent, followed by the US with 10.5 percent, the EU with 5.3 percent, Japan with 1.7 percent, and others with 18.7 percent.

Exports of semiconductors increased by 24.1 percent on-year to post $10.8 billion, with outbound shipments of the item growing for 19 consecutive months, starting from July 2020.

Exports of TV displays increased by 13.3 percent to $2.3 billion amid steady demand for organic light-emitting diodes. Shipments of the item rose for the 17th consecutive month.

The figure for TV display shipments to Japan grew by 27.5 percent, the EU by 21.5 percent, China by 20.4 percent, and Vietnam by 6.7 percent. But the figure for the US declined by 32.4 percent.

Computers and computer devices surged by 54.3 percent, though exports of mobile phones declined by 12.9 percent.

Shipments of computer devices have continued to increase on the back of the ongoing trend of working at home and online classes amid the pandemic. Ministry data showed that computer exports to Vietnam surged by 182.9 percent, the US by 91.4 percent, the EU by 83.6 percent, and China by 52.4 percent.

In contrast, exports of mobile phones decreased as global consumers were likely anticipating the launch of new smartphone models.

Nevertheless, a 54.8 percent growth was seen in mobile phone exports to China, which offset the decrease to the other four major destinations. Figures for the US and the EU plunged by 69.7 percent and 64.2 percent, respectively.