SEOUL, South Korea South Korea's electronics exports rose $78.02 billion in 2005, up a modest 5 percent from a year ago, due mainly to surging sales of LCDs, digital TVs and semiconductors, the Ministry of Information and Communication reported Wednesday (Jan. 4).
Still, the growth rate slowed compared to 2004’s year-on-year growth of 29.9 percent. Fierce competition in the semiconductor and mobile phone sectors, which resulted in plummeting prices, contributed to the slowdown. Relocations of major manufacturers of low-end products such as PCs and monitors were also blamed.
Imports rose 8.8 percent to $44.28 billion, giving South Korea a $33.73 billion electronics trade surplus, the government said. The trade surplus represented 143 percent of the country’s overall trade surplus of $23.55 billion, reflecting the electronics industry’s dominance of the Korean economy.
The ministry forecast that 2006 electronics exports will grow 13.2 percent year-on-year to $88.3 billion, due largely to brisk sales of displays, DTVs and digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB)-enabled phones.
"The rosy forecast is possible as prices of semiconductors and LCDs, which fell repeatedly last year, appear to have been stabilized and special demand for digital TVs and DMB phones ahead of the World Cup [soccer] finals is expected," the ministry said in a statement.
South Korea’s overall exports stood at $284.7 billion in 2005, a 12.2-percent rise from the previous year. Imports rose 16.3 percent over 2004 to $261.15 billion.