Korean chip exports fell 62% in August

Full-year fall put at 31-35%

Korea's chip makers will have seen their exports shrink 31-35 per cent by the time the year is up, the Korean Semiconductor Industry Association has said.

Last year they exported $26 billion worth of semiconductors. This year that figure will fall to $17-18 billion - just above the 1998 figure of $17 billion.

It's a sign of the extent to which Korea's chip exports have fallen that the KSIA originally forecast exports would rise 9.6 per cent this year. In July, after the industry's dire first half of 2001, the organisation revised its prediction to a fall of 20 per cent to $21 billion. Soon after it cut the figure again, to $20 billion.

As of the end of August, chip exports had actually fallen 38.7 per cent on the same period last year to $10.4 billion. Local chip makers are betting on an upturn during Q4, to prevent the final figure falling that far. Exports in August fell by 62 per cent to $920 million.

The KSIA said semiconductors will account for just ten per cent of Korea's overall exports, down from 15.1 per cent last year. ®

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