South Korea’s outbound shipments of information and communications technology products in April reached $12.88 billion, down 15 percent on-year, according to latest government data Thursday.

The Ministry of Science and ICT noted that the import value of ICT products in April was $8.87 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $4 billion.

The daily average exports in the same month came down by 7.6 percent on-year at $0.59 billion, compared to $0.63 billion in April last year.

Exports of ICT products have been on a downward trend since December. They fell 9.5 percent in December, by 7.2 percent in January and 8.2 percent in February. Exports improved slightly in March growing 1.1 percent, but fell again in April.

The ICT Ministry said that latest export performance is largely due to the sluggish sales of key export items -- semiconductors, displays and smartphones -- amid the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Fewer working days in this April also affected the on-year decline.

Outbound shipments of semiconductors in April declined by 15.1 percent to reach at $7.26 billion. Smartphone shipments decreased by 37.2 percent to $0.65 billion, and those of displays went down by 28.1 percent on-year at $1.2 billion.

The decrease in sales at retail stores influenced the nation’s smartphone shipments. The lower demand for smartphones also had a negative impact on the display and semiconductor businesses, according to the ministry.

While other ICT products suffered from lower demand, shipments of computer products marked a sizable increase in April. The outbound shipments of computer products in April jumped 85.2 percent at $1.08 billion. The exports of solid-state drive, in particular, skyrocketed by 254.5 percent at $0.83 billion.

By nation, exports to China and Hong Kong decreased dramatically, by 16.5 percent at $6.6 billion. The shipments of semiconductors and displays plunged by 18.9 percent and 29.9 percent at $4.69 billion and $0.69 billion, respectively.

Despite the sluggish performance in the semiconductor and display exports, the value of China-bound exports was the largest.

Korea exported $1.4 billion of ICT products to Vietnam, while shipments of semiconductors and displays declined by 43.4 percent and 19.4 percent, respectively.

ICT exports to the US clocked $1.7 billion, increasing by 9.3 percent. Semiconductor shipments went up by 77.9 percent at $0.7 billion, and those of computer products surged by 169.5 percent at $0.3 billion. Exports to European nations also increased to $0.8 billion, up 1 percent, while those to Japan went up by 3.9 percent at $0.32 billion.