Manufacturing sales totaled NT$2.5448 trillion (US$79.15 billion) in the first quarter of this year, according to statistics made public yesterday by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Of the total, 52.14 percent of manufactured goods, or NT$1.326 trillion, were sold domestically, up 8.72 percent from the previous year, while 47.86 percent, or NT$1.218 trillion, were sold overseas, up 15.28 percent year on year, the ministry's statistics showed.
Sales of electronic components in the first three months of the year, valued at NT$667.7 billion, posted the largest annual growth of 37.48 percent, according to the tallies.
Ministry officials attributed the increase to a strong demand for consumer electronics from the third world, which has boosted the chip, IC manufacturing, IC packaging, liquid-crystal display (LCD) and light-emitting diode (LED) businesses.
Sales of petroleum and coal products registered the second-highest growth for the first quarter, at 18.79 percent, followed by the electrical machinery and chemicals sectors with 9.64 percent and 7.4 percent growth, respectively.
The tobacco business posted the largest decline in sales, at 19.16 percent, for the January to March period.
Telecommunication and audiovisual products had the highest ratio of direct overseas sales, at 85.85 percent, in the first quarter.