The nation's trade surplus last month shrank by more than one-third from a year ago as the value of imports broke a new record, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.
Exports last month totaled US$19.83 billion, the third highest on record, up 5.5 percent last year.
Imports jumped 11.8 percent from last year to US$18.36 billion, the highest figure ever reported in the ministry's statistics.
This led to a surplus of US$1.47 billion, marking the 14th month in a row the nation has seen a surplus. But the figure was down by US$900 million, or 37.9 percent, from the same period last year, said Lee Li-shu (
Taiwan's trade reliance on the US has been dwindling over the past years, she said.
Exports to the US accounted for 23.42 percent of the nation's overall exports in 2000. The proportion has gradually decreased to 14.45 percent last year.
On the contrary, sales to China and Hong Kong have increased from 24.44 percent of total exports in 2000 to 39.81 percent last year.
For the first four months of the year, the nation saw sales overseas up by 7.7 percent year-on-year to US$74.28 billion and imports expand by 5.3 percent to US$66.53 billion. The trade surplus between January and April was US$7.75 billion, an increase of 33.1 percent on last year.