South Korea semiconductor exports break record again
Demand from China drives 57% increase in February
KENICHI YAMADA, Nikkei Staff Writer
SEOUL -- South Korean semiconductor exports grew 57% on-year in February to a record $6.5 billion, driven by Chinese demand for smartphone memory chips, according to South Korea's trade ministry.
The figure marks a second consecutive month of record semiconductor exports for South Korea. Of the $6.5 billion tally in February, memory chips such as DRAM and NAND accounted for $4.2 billion, while system chips made up $1.8 billion. Accounting for 70% of the value at $4.3 billion was China, a smartphone production hub that hosts numerous facilities, including those of Samsung Electronics.
The expanding market for smartphones has provided a tailwind for South Korea's two biggest semiconductor makers, Samsung and SK Hynix. Until July last year, monthly semiconductor exports hovered around $4 billion to $5.5 billion but upward trends have prevailed since August, leading to the previous record of $6.4 billion in January. February sales for memory chips rose more than 80% on the year, when the market was sluggish.