SEOUL, Sept. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports of information and technology (IT) products bounced back in August from five months of declines on growing overseas demand for display panels and semiconductors, the government said Tuesday.
The country's IT exports amounted to US$13.04 billion last month, up 0.1 percent from the same month last year, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. The rebound came amid a 6.2 percent drop in the country's overall exports.
"IT exports made a turnaround in August to post a positive growth for the first time in six months amid growing shipments of display panels and system semiconductors," the ministry said in a press release.
Imports of IT products, on the other hand, plunged 12.8 percent from a year earlier to $6.19 billion in August, widening the country's trade surplus in the IT sector to $6.85 billion, compared with a surplus of $5.92 billion in the same month last year.
Despite an overall growth in exports, shipments of mobile phones and computer memory chips continued to drop in August, apparently indicating there are continued effects of a global economic slowdown sparked by eurozone debt woes.
In August, shipments of mobile phones plunged 26.6 percent on-year to $1.52 billion with those of computer memory chips slipping 0.4 percent to $4.1 billion.
The ministry said the drop in outbound shipments of mobile phones was largely due to an increase in overseas production by local manufacturers, which has caused an over 20 percent on-year drop in exports for the past 10 consecutive months.
South Korea continued to be the world's largest supplier of smartphones for five consecutive quarters, supplying 38.5 percent of all smartphones sold in the world in the April-June period, the ministry said.
The country's exports of display panels continued their on-year growth for two consecutive months, rising 12.5 percent from a year earlier to $2.83 billion in August.