South Korean chip exports mark seventh consecutive month of growth

Overseas shipments from the tech-rich nation rose 13.8% year-on-year to $56.26 billion, marking the seventh consecutive month of robust export growth. Semiconductor sales remained at the top, underpinning the nation’s trade strength amid steadfast global demand for chips.

South Korea’s exports increased for the seventh month in a row in April. This was shown in trade data released on Wednesday.

Overseas shipments from the tech-rich nation rose 13.8% year-on-year to $56.26 billion, marking the seventh consecutive month of robust export growth. Semiconductor sales remained at the top, underpinning the nation’s trade strength amid steadfast global demand for chips.

However, other sectors also made notable contributions, with auto exports and shipments to the U.S. market hitting all-time highs. This came after a 3.1% increase in March, which was the slowest growth during the current 7-month streak of export gains that started in October 2023.

The Finance Minister said the data confirms the economic recovery is continuing. South Korea’s economy grew at the fastest pace in over two years in the first quarter of 2024, exceeding expectations. This trade-dependent economy benefits from strong exports.

Chip exports increased for the 6th straight month, rising 56.1%. Exports of IT products and cars also saw gains, with car exports reaching a record-high monthly value of $6.79 billion.

Looking at export destinations, shipments to the United States grew 24.3% to a record $11.4 billion, marking 9 consecutive months of increases. Exports to China rose 9.9%, a sharp jump from just 0.4% growth in the previous month.

The country’s imports also increased in April by 5.4% to $54.73 billion, after falling 12.3% in March. This was the first import growth since February 2023.

As a result, South Korea had a trade surplus of $1.53 billion in April, which was smaller than the $4.29 billion surplus in March.