SEJONG, March 23 (Korea Bizwire) – Exports of semiconductors produced by South Korean firms reached a record high last year on soaring prices and firm demand, customs data showed on Friday.
The outbound shipment of chips reached US$99.71 billion last year, sharply up 60.2 percent from the $62.23 billion tallied a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Korea Customs Service.
The 2017 tally marks the highest-ever for any single item, the data showed.
Last year’s sharp growth in exports was led by high-end and high-capacity memory chips.
Exports of chips to China jumped 62.4 percent on-year to reach $39.35 billion last year, making the country the No.1 buyer of South Korean chips.
Vietnam also bought $9.26 billion worth of chips produced by South Korean firms, more than doubling the amount from a year earlier, the datashowed.
The customs office expects exports of chips to continue rising on the back of firm demand this year.
In the first two months of 2018, chip exports soared 47.3 percent on-year to reach $19.01 billion, the data showed.
The data also showed that the portion of chip exports against the country’s overall outbound shipments stood at 20.4 percent during the fourth quarter of last year, sharply up from 15.5 percent, 15.7 percent and 17.8 percent in the first, second and third quarters of last year, respectively.
In 2017, the overall portion of chip exports to total exports reached 17.4 percent, up from 12.6 percent in 2016, the data showed.