South Korea’s exports of information technology (IT) products dropped slightly from a year earlier last month, largely due to dwindling global prices and demand, the government said Monday.
The country exported US$ 13.26 billion worth of IT products in November, down 2.5 percent from the $ 13.6 billion worth of goods shipped overseas during the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
The country’s trade surplus in the IT sector also shrank to $ 6.44 billion from $ 6.59 billion in November, 2010, despite IT imports dropping at a faster rate than its exports. The country’s imports shrank 2.8 percent on-year to $ 6.82 billion.
The ministry attributed last month’s drop to falling prices of its key export items, including computer memory chips and display panels.
“Exports of semiconductors (memory chips) nearly recovered to the levels of last year despite difficulties stemming from the global financial crisis, floods in Thailand and falling prices of key export items, such as DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chips and LCD panels,” it said in a press release.
Shipments of semiconductors dropped 0.9 percent on-year to $ 4.09 billion in November, but the country’s global market share expanded by 5 percentage points from a year earlier, according to the ministry.
“Shipments of display panels, too, slightly dropped from a year earlier but exports to key markets, including China and the European Union, have nearly recovered,” it said.
By country, China, including Hong Kong, continued to be the world’s largest importer of South Korean IT products with $ 6.22 billion worth of products shipped there last month, up 6.6 percent from the same period last year.
Shipments to the United States dropped 17.2 percent on-year to $ 1.5 billion with exports to EU member countries plunging 32.7 percent to $ 1.11 billion.
Still, the ministry said the country’s IT exports in the first 11 months of the year have expanded to a record high for the cited period, growing 2.5 percent on-year to $ 144.45 billion.