S. Korea's ICT exports gain 1.7 pct on-year in July

SEJONG, Aug. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports of information-communication technology (ICT) products rose 1.7 percent from a year earlier last month largely on growing shipments to advanced markets, including the United States, while the trade surplus in the sector narrowed, the government said Wednesday.

In July, outbound shipments of ICT products came to US$14.28 billion, posting an on-year gain for the second straight month, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

However, the country's trade surplus in the sector narrowed slightly from a year earlier as imports rose 5.8 percent on-year to $7.15 billion.

The surplus of $7.13 billion was still 2.8 times higher than the country's overall trade surplus of $2.52 billion posted last month, meaning the gain in the ICT sector more than offset losses in other sectors, the ministry said.

The increase in ICT exports was attributed to growing exports of mobile communication devices, including smartphones.

Exports of mobile phones spiked 23.5 on-year to $2.31 billion in July while shipments of semiconductors inched up 0.9 percent to $4.84 billion.

Shipments of computers and computer parts, on the other hand, plunged 15.5 percent on-year to some $540 million.

By country, shipments to the United States rose 7.1 percent on-year to $1.56 billion while shipments to European Union countries surged 17.9 percent to $1.15 billion.

However, shipments to China, the world's largest single importer of South Korean products, dropped 4 percent on-year to $6.95 billion, apparently reflecting a recent decline in the country's overall exports to China.

The ministry earlier said the country's exports to China had dwindled for the third consecutive month in July.

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