IT export seems to be recovering. According to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, the amount of exports in April was US$30.67 billion, which decreased 19 percent compared to a year ago; import was US$24.65 billion, which is 35.6 percent less than a year ago. The trade balance recorded the best number ever - US$6.02 billion.
The best export item - mobile phones - earned US$2.59 billion last month. The amount of monthly exports has increased for five consecutive months since December. The global market share of Korean products also grew to 27 percent from 25.3 percent at the end of last year. However, there is a gap - US$1.5 billion - between the highest record of monthly exports and April’s record. This shows that Korean companies need to expand their exports to European countries, China, and Southeast Asia.
Display exports recorded US$1.57 billion, and the export growth rate has been increasing for two consecutive months. The rate of operation is also expected to increase to 100 percent from 70-80 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.
Companies exported US$2.11 billion in semiconductors April, and export amount has been increasing for four straight months. It has taken six months to return to the US$2 billion export value mark earned in September. This is thanks to increasing Chinese demand due to their government’s pump-priming policy and the recovery of DRAM’s US$1 cost per item caused by foreign competitors downsizing and cutting production.
These top three items have sold well overseas, however the export of home appliances reached just US$1.02 billion, decreasing 20.3 percent compared to a year ago.
Fortunately, there are several hopeful signs. The monthly amount of exports returned to over US$1 billion for the first time since September, and it has been increasing for five straight months. The export of washing machines is doing well, and also brand new LED TVs are getting a good response from overseas markets, even though they are expensive.
Computer exports earned US$583 million, a decrease of 43.6 percent from a year ago. Monitors, auxiliary memory units, and computer components sales remained sluggish, dropping 43.6 percent from a year ago.
Exports of the top five IT items recorded US$7.88 billion and occupied 25.7 percent from total of US$30.67 billion in April.