Exports accelerated to a record high last month on the back of strong demand for optoelectronic equipment, electrical engineering goods and information and telecom products, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.
In a statement posted on its Web site, the ministry said exports last month reached US$22.69 billion, increasing 14.4 percent year-on-year to a record high for the fifth consecutive month
Meanwhile, imports rose 9.8 percent year-on-year to US$19.2 billion last month from a year earlier amid increased purchases of crude oil and new aircraft, the ministry reported.
Imports recorded their second-highest monthly figure, the ministry's data showed.
The resultant trade surplus was US$3.49 billion, up 48.3 percent from US$3.15 billion in the previous month, the government's data showed.
"October trade data showed that global demand continued to support exports, especially for petrochemicals and tech products," Citigroup economists Cheng Cheng-mount (鄭貞茂) and Renee Chen (陳瑩若) said in a note to investors yesterday.
But the two economists were less optimistic about export prospects in the months ahead.
"As the global economic outlook is still uncertain, we are cautious about the export outlook and expect it to slow in the remaining two months of the year," they said.
The ministry's data showed that cumulative exports rose 8.9 percent year-on-year to US$201.41 billion in the first 10 months of the year, while imports increased 6.9 percent to US$180.49 billion during the same period. That translated into a trade surplus of US$20.91 billions, up 31 percent from the same period last year.
Despite the buildup in the trade surplus over the the past few months, higher import costs for raw materials have actually squeezed domestic demand for capital goods and consumer goods, Cheng and Chen said in the note.
Capital equipment imports, for example, accounted for 14.6 percent of total imports last month, which was lower than a share of 15.9 percent a year earlier, the ministry's data showed.
Consumer goods imports also saw a declining share last month to 7.3 percent from 7.7 percent a year ago, it showed.
In contrast, imports of agricultural and industrial raw materials made up 78.1 percent of total imports last month, up from a share of 76.4 percent the year before.
The Citigroup economists said a rising trade surplus also indicates upside potential for the NT dollar.
"The pressure for local currency appreciation still comes from rising domestic inflation concern and the central bank's efforts to contain it," they wrote.
The NT dollar yesterday traded NT$0.025 higher to close at NT$32.375 against the US dollar on the Taipei Forex Inc.
On Monday, the government's statistics bureau reported that the consumer price index (CPI) rose 5.34 percent year-on-year last month, the highest rise since October 1994.
Units of Intel Corp and Samsung Electronics Co are targeting to resume full operations of their Ho Chi Minh City plants by the end of next month, a move that could provide relief to global supply chains. Saigon Hi-Tech Park is helping its tenants, many of which are running at about 70 percent capacity, to operate fully next month, park deputy manager Le Bich Loan said in a phone interview. She did not elaborate on the steps the park is taking, particularly efforts at bringing back workers who fled to home provinces. The Ho Chi Minh City unit of Nidec Sankyo Corp,
CHIP CRUNCH: Apple’s woes show that even the king of the technology world is not immune from global shortages made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic Apple Inc is likely to slash its projected iPhone 13 production targets for this year by as many as 10 million units as prolonged chip shortages hit its flagship product, people with knowledge of the matter said. The company had expected to produce 90 million new iPhone models in the final three months of this year, but it is now telling manufacturing partners that the total would be lower because Broadcom Inc and Texas Instruments Inc are struggling to deliver enough components, the people said. Apple gets display parts from Texas Instruments, while Broadcom is its longtime supplier of wireless components. One Texas
EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) and China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), the nation’s two major airlines, reported accelerated revenue growth in the third quarter compared with the previous two quarters, thanks to robust air cargo business. EVA Airways yesterday said sales for last quarter rose 40 percent year-on-year to NT$25.81 billion (US$917 million), compared with an increase of 25 percent in the second quarter and a fall of 35 percent in the first quarter. China Airlines said sales grew 39 percent to NT$34.6 billion in the third quarter, after gaining 10 percent in the second quarter and falling 14 percent in the first quarter. EVA
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) is embarking on a recruitment drive to hire 200,000 workers in Shenzhen, China, as it ramps up production of the new iPhone 13 series, Chinese business news outlet Eastmoney.com reported. Hon Hai is seeking to recruit those heading back to the city after China’s seven-day National Day holiday, which began on Oct. 1, to help churn out the estimated 100,000 iPhone 13s produced on the site each day, the report said. Following last month’s global release of the iPhone 13, Hon Hai entered its traditional peak season, and workers at its Chinese production sites are said