August 9, 2003 – Exports of information technology products reached a record $4.88 billion in July, a 31% increase from one year ago, according to data from the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) and the Financial Times. The amount surpassed the previous monthly high of $4.74 billion in October 2000.
During July, IT imports were $3.26 billion, a 26.5% climb from July 2002. The MIC says the fading of the SARS scare and hints of an improving US economy fueled the numbers. Semiconductor exports rose 18.2% to $1.68 billion, due to a rise in DRAM process and increased demand from China.
Meanwhile, Korea’s semiconductor trade deficit has also swelled to record numbers in the first half of 2003, and has more than doubled since 2H02. Exports were $8.26 billion, versus imports of $9.96 billion, according to the Korean Semiconductor Industry Association (KSIA), due to lower DRAM prices which contribute 40% of total chip exports.
However, some improvement can be seen in the quarter-by-quarter measure; a 2Q03 semiconductor trade deficit of $620 million is down from $1.08 billion in 1Q03.