Export orders last month rose 14.3 percent year-on-year to US$35.74 billion, marking the second--highest level in history, on the back of strong global demand for Taiwanese electronics, including PCs and handsets, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
On a monthly basis, the figure represented an increase of 0.27 percent from US$35.64 billion in October. The record amount was set in September at US$35.98 billion.
“As orders from Europe and the US surged before the holiday -buying spree, Taiwanese firms were asked to produce more consumer electronics, such as handsets and computers,” Huang Ji-shih (黃吉實), director of the ministry’s statistics division, told a press briefing yesterday.
Export orders are an indication of the country’s shipments of products and components to overseas markets during the next one to three months.
Orders from Europe — the nation’s third-largest export market — rose 17.6 percent to US$7.03 billion last month, while the US, the second-largest market, placed 13.5 percent more orders for Taiwanese goods, at US$7.79 billion.
The largest market, China, placed US$9.19 billion in orders, showing a year-on-year growth of 16.6 percent, the department said.
In terms of product breakdown, international orders for electronic components, which include semiconductors and memory chips, rose 12.6 percent to US$8.55 billion last month.
Orders for information and communications products — comprising handsets and notebooks — advanced 7.7 percent from a year earlier to US$9.24 billion last month.
Meanwhile, global orders for precision machinery — mainly LCD panels — rose 8.5 percent to US$3.01 billion, according to the department’s statistics.
Cumulative export orders for January to last month totaled US$370.15 billion, an increase of 27.3 percent from the same period last year.
According to Huang, even though this month’s orders might slow after peaking last month, whole-year orders will easily surpass US$405 billion, which would be a record high for the entire year.
Looking forward to next year, the department said Taiwanese electronics as well as information and communications products would continue to receive solid orders on the back of the introduction of new technologies.
“Intel Corp will introduce new microprocessors early next year, and a number of [Apple Inc] iPad-like devices will also enter the consumer market. This will benefit Taiwanese firms,” Huang said.
On a related note, the ministry said 50.95 percent of orders received by Taiwanese makers last month would be produced “outside of Taiwan,” marking a record high.
That means Taiwanese firms are increasingly dependent on their overseas production facilities, such as those in China and Vietnam, to meet growing demand from international companies.