South Korean semiconductor exports are expected to hit a record $23.5 billion this year, surpassing the old mark of $22.1 billion reached in 1995, according to government estimates.
The Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Energy said chip exports from the country in 1999 totaled $20.3 billion, after falling to $17 billion in 1998 due to the precipitous decline in global DRAM prices.
The ministry estimated that semiconductor imports into Korea last year were $16 billion, up 33% over the previous year. Officials attributed the sharp rise in imports to heavy demand for microprocessors and chips for telecommunications applications. Imports of flash memory and SDRAM almost tripled to $800 million, as domestic manufacturers were unable to meet demand coming from Korean OEMs.