SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's exports in the information and communications (ICT) sector rose on the back of demand for locally-made smartphones and semiconductors last month despite less working days caused by the Lunar New Year's holiday, a government report showed Monday.
Exports in the ICT industry gained 0.2 percent from a year earlier to 13.13 billion U.S. dollars in January, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Trade surplus in the sector was 6.32 billion dollars last month, much higher than a 735 million dollar surplus for overall industries.
Exports for all industries edged down 0.2 percent last month as the Lunar New Year's holiday moved to January this year from February last year, reducing working days by 2 days.
Outbound shipments in the ICT industry managed to rise last month as exports of chips and smartphones posted a double-digit growth. Exports of chips and mobile phones jumped more than 14 percent in January from a year earlier.
Exports of smartphones topped the 1 billion dollar mark in January, surging 20.7 percent from a year earlier. It was attributable to brisk sales of flagship products such as Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 as well as LG Electronics' G2.
Memory chip exports soared 78.5 percent on year in January, keeping a double-digit growth trend for 11 straight months. Demand for chips used in mobile devices increased amid brisk sales of smartphones.
Exports of display panels declined 15.2 percent in January from a year earlier due to weak demand for TV panels, but shipments of the country's premium LCD TVs surged 32 percent owing to strong demand from Latin America, the Middle East and Europe.