Since 2017, the global semiconductor market has been driven by the growth of semiconductor memory used in smartphones and data centers, achieving rare high growth. Semiconductor manufacturers have also increased their investment.

British survey company IHS Markit statistics show that the global semiconductor market increased by 22% in 2017.

After entering 2018, the supply of semiconductors worldwide has increased, and oversupply has become apparent. The price of flash memory has dropped by more than 30% from the beginning of the year, and various semiconductor manufacturers have begun to adjust their production plans.

According to Korean media reports, in November, South Korea’s ICT exports fell for the first time in 25 months, mainly due to the decline in semiconductor prices. Memory chip prices may continue to fall for at least six months, hurting South Korea's ICT export trade.

On December 18, the Ministry of Industry and Energy announced that the total exports of ICT last month was 18.29 billion US dollars, the import value was 9.76 billion US dollars, and the trade surplus was 8.53 billion US dollars. Exports fell by 1.7% compared with the same period of the previous year, while imports increased by 3%.

This is related to the decline in the price of memory chips. Until September of this year, South Korea’s storage chip exports increased by more than 40% year-on-year, but in October the growth rate fell to 26.5%, and in November it fell to 19.6%.

Market research firm DRAMeXchange said the spot price of 4Gb DRAM fell from $3.99 in July to $3.13 in the previous month. Similarly, the price of 64Gb NAND flash memory has dropped from $4.2 to $3.03 in one year.

In November, South Korea’s semiconductor exports totaled $10.79 billion, surpassing $10 billion for the seventh consecutive month. However, the export growth rate plummeted from 30.2% in July to 10.6% in November.

Display exports and mobile phone exports were severely affected by competition from Chinese manufacturers, increasing by $2.28 billion and $1.03 billion, down 11.3% and 46.7% respectively. Computer and peripheral equipment exports fell 10.1% to $810 million.

ICT exports have also been affected by the slowdown in manufacturing growth in China and the United States. Last month, South Korea’s ICT exports to China and Hong Kong (the largest destination) fell 12.2% year-on-year to US$9.04 billion, the first time in 24 months. Negative growth.

In addition, in November, storage chip imports increased by 80.7% to 2.12 billion US dollars, and display imports increased by 1.3% to 470 million US dollars. Computer imports rose 1.6% to $510 million.

Markets Technologies

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