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Korea chip export hit 19-month low


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The percentage of semiconductor exports out of South Korea's total overseas shipments hit a 19-month low in January amid falling demand and prices, data showed Monday.

Chip exports tumbled 23.3 percent on-year to US$7.42 billion in January, accounting for 16 percent of the country's total exports, according to the data from the trade ministry and the Korea Customs Service.

Total exports of Asia's fourth-largest economy dropped 5.9 percent on-year to $46.33 billion in January.

The proportion was the lowest since the 15.7 percent recorded in July 2017.

Chip exports have remained below 20 percent since falling to 18.3 percent in December last year.

The decline was attributed mainly to slowing growth of the global semiconductor market.

According to the Bank of Korea, global semiconductor exports inched down 1.9 percent from a year ago in January, the first drop in more than three years. It also marked the biggest decline since exports fell 10.6 percent in November 2013.

Export prices plunged 22.2 percent on-year, the largest drop since the 23.5 percent nosedive in June 2009, according to the central bank of South Korea.

Slackening exports led to chipmakers' falling production. The chip industry's output gained only 7.5 percent in January, the weakest on-year gain in a year.

Market analysts say falling chip exports may be a warning sign for South Korea's overseas shipments and its economic growth down the road.

But the government has forecast that semiconductor exports will bounce back in the second half of the year thanks to a recovery in global demand.

By: DocMemory
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