S. Korea's ICT exports, trade surplus grow in Feb.

SEJONG, March 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports of information communication technology (ICT) products grew in February from a year earlier, together with its trade surplus in the sector, the government said Monday.

Outbound shipments of ICT products rose 8.4 percent on-year to US$12.84 billion last month, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The figure, however, marks a slight drop from $13.13 billion posted in the previous month.

"Exports marked a strong growth in February as shipments to advanced countries rose on economic recovery in the United States, Europe and Japan, while shipments to newly emerging economies, such as countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Latin America showed equally strong growth," the ministry said in a press release.

In February, ICT exports to the United States grew 7.9 percent on-year to $1.12 billion, with shipments to Japan surging 19.7 percent to $530 million.

Combined shipments to the 10 member countries of ASEAN gained 5.4 percent to $1.65 billion, with shipments to China, the world's largest importer of South Korean ICT products, jumping 11.1 percent to $6.28 billion.

The country's ICT imports surged 13.5 percent on-year to $6.21 billion in February.

The trade surplus in the ICT sector reached $6.63 billion, up from $6.37 billion in the same month last year.

By product, shipments of cellular phones, including smartphones and parts, spiked 37.7 percent on-year to $2.05 billion, breaching the $2 billion mark for the second-consecutive month, according to the ministry.

Shipments of semiconductors surged 14.6 percent to $4.47 billion, posting a positive on-year gain for 17 straight months.

Exports of display panels, on the other hand, plunged 11.6 percent to $2.1 billion on downturn in the global market and shrinking shipments to China.

<All rights reserved by Yonhap News Agency>