Mon, May 30, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Trade surplus plummets 87.2 percent

CNA , TAIPEI

The nation's trade surplus for the January-April period plummeted by 87.2 percent from the figure for the same period last year due to declining exports and soaring imports, sources from the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) reported yesterday.

The nation's two-way trade amounted to US$116.6 billion in the January-April period, with exports totaling US$58.49 billion, up 8.7 percent over the same period last year, and imports totaling US$58.11 billion, up 14.2 percent, MOEA officials said.

As a result, the country posted a trade surplus of US$380 million in the January-April period, the officials said.

The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, the nation's top statistic agency, on May 19 maintained its projection for exports to rise 6.7 percent this year. It raised its estimate for gains in imports to 8.5 percent from 5.7 percent.

In the first four months, Taiwan posted a trade surplus of US$14.72 billion with China and Hong Kong together, while suffering a trade deficit of US$10.81 billion with Japan and a deficit of US$2.44 billion with South Korea, the officials noted.

By area, the nation's exports to Southeast Asia totaled US$8.195 billion in the first four months, up a whopping 16.5 percent over the figure for the same period last year, while exports to Japan totalled US$4.695 billion, up 10.9 percent.

Although exports to Southeast Asia and Japan continued to soar, China and Hong Kong remained the largest outlet for Taiwan, absorbing 36.7 percent of Taiwan's total exports in the first four months of this year, the officials said.

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