SEOUL, May 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's first-quarter exports of eight new-industry goods jumped despite a drop in overall exports due to the new coronavirus pandemic, data showed Friday.
Overseas shipments of those products came to US$21 billion in the January-March period, up 17 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).
They include next-generation semiconductors, biohealth products, electric vehicles, new-energy goods, robots, aviation products and drones, advanced new materials and next-generation displays.
Exports of next-generation chips soared 23 percent on-year, with those of biohealth products surging nearly 26 percent due to the pandemic. Comparable growth figures were 38 percent for drones and aviation goods, and about 25 percent for electric vehicles.
Yet, first-quarter overseas shipments of new-energy items, robots and advanced new materials shrank slightly from a year earlier.
South Korea's overall exports contracted 1.4 percent in the first quarter as overseas demand for its goods slackened due to the coronavirus outbreak that led to lockdowns, shuttered plants and dampened consumer spending across the globe.
Stressing the need to nurture new promising export items to brace for a post-coronavirus period, KITA predicted global demand for health care products and digital equipment to grow further down the road.