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Korea’s semiconductor export surpasses 8.7 billion dollars in August

Korea’s semiconductor export surpasses 8.7 billion dollars in August

Posted September. 02, 2017 07:34,   

Updated September. 02, 2017 08:25


Korea’s export of semiconductor products exceeded 8.7 billion U.S. dollars last month to reach an all-time high, as the portion of semiconductors in Korea’s overall export hit as high as 18.6 percent. Growing voices raise concern saying that the Korean economy is only relying on semiconductors (export) to survive.

According to export and import trends released by the Trade, Industry and Energy Ministry on Friday, Korea’s semiconductor export amounted to 8.76 billion dollars last month, the highest ever for a monthly figure. The figure represents a gain of 3.171 billion dollars, which is an increase of 56.8 percent over a one-year period from the country’s semiconductor shipment of 5.59 billion dollars posted in August last year.

“Semiconductor export increased for 11 consecutive months thanks to a hike in memory chip prices and a rising demand for new smartphone models,” the ministry said.

Backed by robust semiconductor export, Korea’s overall amount of export continued to stride. Korea’s export in August amounted to 47.12 billion dollars in August, up 17.4 percent year-on-year. By month, the nation’s export continued to rise for 10 consecutive months, while a achieving a double-digit expansion for eight consecutive months. Of Korea’s 13 major export items, nine items showed upswings.

While Korea’s export continued to gain, GNI, the real earnings of Korean citizens, backpedaled. The Bank of Korea said the nation’s real GNI came to 401.6268 trillion won (357.9 billion dollars) in the second quarter of this year, which is a 0.6 percent decline from 403.93 trillion won (360 billion dollars) in the first quarter. GNI is the sum of all incomes including labor costs, interest, and dividends that Korean nationals earn within and outside the country. Since slumping 0.4 percent in the third quarter of last year, the real GNI fell again in three quarters after making a short turnaround.

“As some conglomerates paid dividends in the second quarter, a sizeable amount of dividend was transferred to overseas," said Kim Yeong-tae, a senior staff at the Bank of Korea. "Samsung Electronics paid 1.1 trillion won (980 million dollars) in dividend for its foreign stake holders, who own more than 50 percent of Samsung Electronics stocks, in May, and it is deemed to be one of the major factors for a drop in the real GNI." When the outflow of earnings from Korea outpaces the inflow of overseas earnings, GNI declines.

Jae-Myung Park jmpark@donga.com