SEOUL, May 9 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's information technology ( IT) product exports rose for eight straight months in April due to robust demand from emerging economies, a government report showed Thursday.
Exports in the tech industry increased 17.5 percent from a year earlier to 14.13 billion U.S. dollars in April, rising for the eighth consecutive month, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE).
Imports expanded 7.3 percent to 6.77 billion dollars, sending the trade surplus in the tech sector to 7.35 billion dollars last month that almost tripled the surplus of 2.58 billion dollars for all industries.
For the first four months of 2013, IT exports rose 11.4 percent to 52.83 billion dollars, the highest in the country's history. The trade surplus posted the record high of 26.82 billion dollars over the same period.
The ministry attributed the brisk exports to strong demand from emerging economies. Exports to China jumped 17.1 percent in April from a year earlier, and those to Southeast Asian nations soared 39.9 percent. Shipments to the European Union (EU) and the United States increased 10.7 percent and 16.2 percent each last month, while those to Japan reduced 21.7 percent amid the weak yen trend.
Handsets and memory chips led the brisk April exports. Shipments of mobile phones, including smartphones, surged 50.4 percent in April from a year earlier, keeping its upward trend for eight straight months. Memory chip shipments jumped 34.6 percent last month after rising 11.1 percent in the prior month.