2022年1月17日

Demand for chips drives South Korea’s ICT exports

South Korea’s exports of information and communications technology (ICT) products grew 3.8 percent year-on-year in 2020, driven by strong growth in overseas demand for semiconductors and computer parts due to the COVID-19 epidemic, Yonhap reported.

Exports of information and communication technology (ICT) products in South Korea reached $183.6 billion in 2020, up 3.8 percent year-on-year from $176.9 billion in 2019, according to data released by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Information and Communication (MOSTI) on Monday. The figure is the third largest on record.

Due to the epidemic, South Korea’s exports of information and communication technology products declined in the first half of 2020, but recorded year-on-year growth for seven consecutive months starting from June. In 2020, South Korea’s import of information and communication technology products reached 1112.6 billion US dollars, with a year-on-year increase of 3.9%. The trade surplus in information and communication technology products was $71 billion.

Seen by industry, South Korea’s semiconductor exports in 2020 increased by 5.4% year on year to $100.3 billion, of which memory chip exports increased by 1.5% to $63.9 billion and logic chip exports increased by 17.8% to $30.3 billion. Exports of computers and components surged 53.1 percent to $13.9 billion, with solid-state drives hitting a record $10.1 billion. Exports of mobile phones and components fell 6 per cent to $11.3 billion, while display panel exports fell 5.1 per cent to $20.7 billion.

In terms of export destination, South Korea’s exports of information and communication technology products to China rose 0.1% to US $86.9 billion in 2020, mainly driven by the growth of chip and mobile device exports. Exports to Vietnam rose 9.6% to $29.8 billion, driven mainly by strong demand for display panels; Exports to the United States rose 20.4 percent to $22.1 billion, driven by increased demand for semiconductors and computer parts.

The Ministry of Science, Technology, Information and Communications expects exports of ICT products to continue to grow in 2021 as the world economy recovers from the epidemic and new generation semiconductor products are developed. The global memory chip market is set to grow 20 percent in 2021, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Communications said, citing data from British market research firm Omdia.

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. reported an operating profit of 9 trillion won (1,090 won to the dollar) in the fourth quarter of 2020, up 25.7 percent from a year earlier, according to preliminary quarterly earnings estimates released earlier this month. Analysis points out that in Samsung Electronics business, semiconductor business is an important source of revenue and profit; Samsung Electronics’ overall performance was positive as demand for telecommuting and electronics increased amid the COVID-19 outbreak, boosting chip and display panel sales. As semiconductor memory prices rise, the semiconductor industry may be heading for a boom, which could help Samsung Electronics continue to see strong growth in 2021.

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., was sentenced to two and a half years in prison by the Seoul High Court on Monday afternoon. Before the sentencing, Mr Lee’s supporters had pleaded with the court for a lenient sentence, arguing that it would help South Korea overcome the economic difficulties caused by the outbreak. Some economic analysts believe that even if Lee Jae-yong can control the remote control from prison, Samsung Group will inevitably be affected, mergers and acquisitions and other key decisions may be delayed or suspended, making its investment operations facing increased uncertainty. (Journalist Wang Jing)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll Up