In an impressive display of economic resilience, the Korea Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry recorded a growth rate in exports over 30% for the first time since March 2022 fueled by strong performances in key segments such as semiconductors.

According to the Korea Ministry of Science and ICT’s latest data on trade trends released on May 15, ICT exports reached US$17.08 billion in April, marking a significant 33.8% increase compared to April of the previous year. This marks the sixth consecutive month of growth.

Last month’s export boost was supported by overall trade surpluses across major items including semiconductors and displays.

Specifically, semiconductors (up 53.9%), displays (up 15.2%), mobile phones (up 15.3%), and computers and peripherals (up 55.9%) all showed substantial growth. Notably, semiconductor exports alone surged to US$9.96 billion, maintaining a double-digit growth rate for six months in a row.

The Ministry attributed the surge in semiconductor exports to expanding demands driven by the growth of the artificial intelligence (AI) market and the recovery in IT device demand. “Particularly, memory chips saw a significant price rise in fixed transactions, and the demand for high bandwidth memory (HBM) and other high-value products has increased dramatically compared to the same month last year, pulling up the overall semiconductor exports,” explained the Ministry.

Display exports, which totaled US$1.64 billion, increased by 15.2% due to the rebound in demand for IT devices such as TVs and PCs, boosting both Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) and Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) exports.

Mobile phone exports stood at US$930 million, driven by a 38.3% increase in parts exports, primarily to major manufacturing hubs in China (including Hong Kong) and Vietnam.

Exports of computers and peripherals, which totaled US$910 million, were led by an increase in storage devices, recording a continuous growth for four months.

Regionally, significant double-digit export growth rates were observed to China (including Hong Kong) at 43.7%, Vietnam at 22.4%, the US at 24.6%, and the European Union at 15.5%.

Exports to Japan, which had been decreasing until March, turned positive with a 9.1% growth, thanks to increases in secondary batteries and computer peripherals.

ICT imports also rose by 10.4% compared to last April, totaling US$11.56 billion, driven by increased imports of key components like semiconductors and displays.

Consequently, the ICT trade balance for April showed a surplus of US$5.52 billion.