South Korea posted a fresh record high of exports in the information, communications and technology (ICT) industry in the first half of this year due to slid demand for locally-made chips and handsets, a government report showed Wednesday.
The ICT exports reached a new high of 83.83 billion U.S. dollars during the January-June period, up 3.2 percent from the same period of last year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Despite the dimmer outlook for the tech sector, the country logged the record exports on the back of demand for semiconductors and smartphones assembled in local plants.
Chip exports gained 10.6 percent from a year earlier to 29.3 billion dollars in the first half, with those for handsets, including smartphones, growing 12.6 percent to 13.1 billion dollars.
The information provider Gartner downgraded its 2014 growth outlook for the ICT industry to 3.2 percent in May from 3.6 percent estimated eight months earlier.
Daily average exports in the sector reached a new high of 630 million dollars in the first half, the ministry said.
Imports increased 7.4 percent to 42.15 billion dollars in the cited period, sending the first-half trade surplus in the ICT sector to 41.68 billion dollars, which more than doubled the surplus of 20.28 billion dollars for all industries.
The ministry forecasts the country's ICT exports will keep its growth trend in the second half on high quality of its major export products, but it cautioned negative factors remained such as the dimmer outlook for the industry, lower prices of memory chips and the local currency's ascent to the dollar.