SEOUL, June 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports of information and communication technology (ICT) products rose around 30 percent last month, data showed Monday, thanks to strong demand for semiconductors, displays and mobile phones amid signs of a global economic recovery from the pandemic-induced slump.
Outbound shipments of ICT products were tallied at US$17.73 billion in May, up 27.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Ministry of Science and ICT.
The latest figure marked the second-largest amount for the month on record after 2018 and the 12th consecutive month of on-year gains.
Imports last month reached $10.51 billion, up 17.7 percent from a year earlier, resulting in a trade surplus of $7.22 billion.
By segment, semiconductor exports rose 24 percent on-year to $10.1 billion, the highest since November 2018, when the country shipped out $10.79 billion worth of chips.
The ministry said continued global demand and rising prices of semiconductors fueled the gain, with outbound shipments of memory chips growing 13.6 percent to $6.57 billion over the cited period. Exports of logic chips jumped 55.7 percent to $3.02 billion.
Display shipments also surged 38.7 percent to $1.78 billion thanks to organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) used in smartphones.
OLED exports grew 64.2 percent to $970 million, while liquid crystal display (LCD) shipments gained 7.1 percent to $480 million.
Exports of mobile phones and related parts rose 43 percent on-year to $1.04 billion.
Shipments of mobile phone parts to China increased 155.6 percent, while exports of mobile phones to the European Union grew 118.7 percent.
By destination, shipments to China, South Korea's largest trading partner, rose 19.3 percent on-year to $8.66 billion, rising for the ninth consecutive month. Semiconductor exports to China rose 17.8 percent to $6.2 billion.
Exports to Vietnam increased 39.3 percent to $2.38 billion, while those to the United States expanded 30.5 percent to $2.28 billion thanks to mobile phones and rechargeable batteries.
South Korea's total exports last month jumped 45.6 percent from a year earlier to $50.7 billion to extend their gains to a seventh consecutive month, thanks to a healthy global appetite for chips and automobiles.