Trade surplus in South Korea's IT sector last month widened to hit US$6.11 billion from a year earlier, because IT imports increased at a slower rate of 10.2 percent year-on-year to reach US$6.99 billion.
The ministry said January's IT exports showed positive growth for the fifth consecutive month thanks to increasing shipments of key products such as mobile phones, semiconductors and displays, buoyed by a recovering global IT market.
Shipments of mobile phone parts surged 78.6 percent to US$890 million, while shipments of mobile phones jumped 32.7 percent to US$1.91 billion from the year before. Smartphone shipments grew 8.8 percent to US$940 million in the same period, according to the ministry.
Semiconductor exports increased 7.2 percent year-on-year to US$4.04 billion--which crossed the US$4 billion mark for the sixth consecutive month, the ministry added.
China continued to be the world's biggest importer of South Korean IT products in January at US$6.54 billion, up 16.6 percent year-on-year.
Comparatively, IT exports to Japan dropped 20.7 percent to US$590 million.
As for the United States and European Union, shipments there grew 3 percent and 31.9 percent respectively to hit US$1.25 billion and US$1.13 billion.