Export orders fell 2.62 percent last month from the same period last year to US$36.38 billion, marking the fourth consecutive month of decline as persistent global economic stagnation continues to erode demand, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
On a monthly basis, export orders fell 0.25 percent from US$36.47 billion reported in May, the ministry’s data showed.
Orders in the first half of the year contracted US$1.95 billion, or 0.91 percent, to US$212.75 billion from a year ago, the data showed.
“The second quarter marked the first quarterly decline year-on-year since the fourth quarter in 2009 when the global financial crisis ended,” deputy director of the ministry’s statistics department Beatrice Tsai (蔡美娜) said.
By country, export orders from all major export destinations fell, with China, the US and Japan accounting for the steepest declines.
Export orders from China — Taiwan’s largest export destination, that accounted for one-quarter of all export orders last month — declined 3.63 percent year-on-year last month to US$9.09 billion, with electronic products that shed US$101 million from the same month last year accounting for the biggest decline.
“The decrease [in orders] marked the sixth consecutive year-on-year decline excluding the month in which Spring Festival fell. This reflected that Europe’s gloomy economy might have had a spillover effect on China, causing a further slowdown in demand,” Tsai told a press conference.
Export orders from the US slid 2.34 percent year-on-year to US$8.61 billion last month, with information and communication products contributing most to the decrease, contracting US$101 million from the same month last year, the ministry’s data showed.
“Last month marked the first year-on-year decline in export orders from the US since Oct. 2009, which means Taiwan’s information and communication products, as well as electronic products, might be losing ground in the US,” Tsai said, adding that these two categories accounted for a big portion of 59.2 percent of export orders from the US.
Orders from Europe fell 0.39 percent annually to US$6.65 billion, with basic metals contributing the most to the contraction, decreasing by US$120 million from the same period last year, the data showed.
Six ASEAN countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) placed US$3.98 billion in orders with Taiwan — a decline of 0.05 percent from last year, the data showed.
The month of May marked the first decline in export orders from the six countries, with the fall continuing last month.
“Further observation is needed to determine if this region has joined the declining trend alongside the other major export destinations,” Tsai said.
Last month’s export orders from Japan also exhibited consecutive decline since April last year, the ministry’s data showed.
When examined by product, information technology orders increased 2.01 percent last month to US$9.75 billion from a year ago, while electronic goods and precision instruments declined 3.86 percent and 3.7 percent to US$8.34 billion and US$ 3.02 billion respectively.
This month, export orders are expected to dip year-on-year from the US$37.59 billion recorded a year ago, the ministry said. Those figures should worsen from last month, given that the ministry’s sentiment index stood at 46.2, which was below the benchmark of 50, Tsai said.