SEOUL, April 14 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s exports of information and communication technology (ICT) products rose 8.9 percent in March from a year earlier, marking the 10th consecutive month of on-year gains, thanks to healthy global demand for chips and displays, data showed Wednesday.

Outbound shipments of ICT goods reached US$17.41 billion last month, compared with $15.99 billion the previous year, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Science and ICT.

Last month, imports reached $10.93 billion, up 15.7 percent on-year, resulting in a trade surplus of $6.49 billion.

For the first quarter this year, ICT exports stood at $48.96 billion — the highest amount for the period since 2018 — up 13.6 percent from the previous year.

By segment, chip exports last month rose 7.9 percent on-year to $9.57 billion on the back of robust overseas demand for memory and logic semiconductors.

Outbound shipments of memory chips grew 8.2 percent to $6.12 billion, while logic chips advanced 9.3 percent to $2.9 billion.

Display shipments rose 2.9 percent to hit $1.69 billion amid continued demand for organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) used in smartphones.

OLED exports jumped 32.9 percent to $840 million, while liquid crystal display (LCD) shipments declined 8.5 percent to $490 million.

Exports of mobile phones and parts went up 8.7 percent to $1.1 billion on the back of demand for device components, such as camera modules, the ICT ministry said.

By destination, shipments to China, South Korea’s largest trading partner, rose 7.7 percent on-year to $8.22 billion, rising for the seventh consecutive month, thanks to semiconductor demand.

Exports to the United States gained 4.1 percent to $2.06 billion, while those to Vietnam fell 3.8 percent to $2.35 billion due to an 11 percent drop in chip shipments.

South Korea’s total exports advanced 16.6 percent on-year in March to $53.8 billion on the back of solid demand for chips and autos to extend their gains for the fifth consecutive month.