SEOUL, May 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports of information and communication technology (ICT) products rose 16.9 percent in April from a year earlier on strong overseas demand for chips and displays, data showed Thursday.
Outbound shipments of ICT products came to US$19.94 billion last month, up from $17.05 billion a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Science and ICT.
The figure marks the highest-ever tally for April since the government began compiling related data in 1996. In April, South Korea's ICT exports climbed at a double-digit rate for 13 months on end.
In the first four months of the year, overseas shipments of ICT goods came to an all-time high of $81.66 billion.
ICT imports reached $12.13 billion last month, up 12.4 percent from the same month a year ago, resulting in a trade surplus of $7.81 billion in the sector.
April's ICT exports got a big boost from chips and displays, South Korea's key export items.
Semiconductor exports expanded 16 percent on-year to $10.9 billion in April, exceeding the $10-billion mark for the 12th straight month.
Display shipments soared 22.5 percent on-year to $2.05 billion, helped by strong demand for organic light emitting diode displays.
Outbound shipments of mobile phones inched up 0.2 percent to $1.24 billion, and exports of computers and peripheral devices spiked 58 percent to $1.76 billion.
Shipments to China, South Korea's largest trading partner, and Hong Kong rose 4.1 percent, with exports to Vietnam, the United States, the European Union and Japan expanding 25.8 percent, 25.9 percent, 23.2 percent and 15.5 percent, respectively.
In April, South Korea's exports rose 12.6 percent to $57.69 billion on the back of brisk demand for chips and petroleum products.