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South Korea's trade surplus in IT sector hits new high

Posted on Dec 05, 01:44PM | IANS

Trade surplus in the South Korea's information technology (IT) industry hit a new high last month due to solid demand for handsets and semiconductors, a government report showed Wednesday.

Trade surplus in the IT sector reached a record monthly high of USD 7.86 billion in November, up from USD 7.1 billion for October, according to the ministry of knowledge economy.

The figure was larger than a surplus of USD 4.48 billion for the overall industry, indicating that the country's trade surplus was mainly led by the upbeat momentum in the IT sector, reported Xinhua.

Exports expanded 12.2 percent on-year to USD 14.52 billion in November, staying above the USD 14 billion mark for three months in a row. The double-digit growth was the first in 22 months. Imports contracted 2.2 percent to USD 6.66 billion over the same period.

"Despite the worsening external conditions such as the eurozone fiscal crisis and the US fiscal cliff issue, the IT exports topped the USD 14 billion for three straight months, leading the overall industry exports," the ministry said.

Strong demand for handsets and semiconductors led the double-digit export growth.

Handset exports jumped 23.5 percent on-year to USD 2.32 billion last month, marking the largest this year. South Korea ranked first in terms of global market share of smartphone for six straight quarters in the third quarter.

Exports of semiconductors expanded 12.9 percent to USD 4.6 billion last month, keeping a growth trend for the second consecutive month. Shipments of memory chips declined 11.6 percent due to weak global demand for PCs, but the reduction was offset by an export of system chips that surged 33.4 percent on an on-year basis.