Semiconductors continue to be the largest single export category in Korea, with shipments through November totaling $13.4 billion, a billion dollars more than auto exports, according to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy.
Chips have been Korea's largest export item for each of the last 10 years, the ministry acknowledged. Semiconductors are expected to finish the full 2001 year as the top export group, as auto exports have been hit by labor strikes at Hyundai Motor plants.
Electronics are also among the leading export products, as computers and wireless handsets are the third- and fourth- largest categories after chips and automobiles.
The Ministry's export figures add increased emphasis to the country's concern about keeping Hynix Semiconductor in full production. Hynix DRAMs are reported to be the fourth-largest export item by themselves.