September 23, 2003 – Korean semiconductor exports to the US and Europe were down in August, due in large part to recent tariffs levied against Hynix Semiconductor, according to the Korea International Trade Association.
Chip exports to the US were $2.01 billion in August, a 17.7% decrease from August 2002 and the lowest in a decade. Chip exports to Europe were also down year-on-year, by as much as 60% each for the UK, France, and Belgium.
Korea’s total chip exports so far in 2003 are at $11.61 billion, a 9.3% increase from the first eight months of 2002 but below the double-digit growth seen in recent years.
“We are greatly concerned about the trend,” said a KITA official quoted in The Korea Herald, “because chips are currently Korea’s top export item, and the US and the EU are our biggest markets.”
Mobile communication equipment, which has grown 42% so far in 2003, could challenge the chip market for the top spot in Korean exports.