Taiwan’s export orders fell 4.4 percent last month from the same period last year to US$35.94 billion, marking the nation’s fifth consecutive month of decline as the comparative base in the same period was high and demand from China and Europe continued to fall, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
On a monthly basis, export orders fell 1.2 percent from June, the ministry’s data showed.
Export orders indicate a country’s shipments of products and components to overseas markets during the next one to three months.
This month, export orders are expected to dip marginally year-on-year from the US$36.71 billion recorded a year ago, while growth momentum will further improve in the next few months thanks to back-to-school demand, the October holiday season in China and the launches of Windows 8 and a new iPhone, the ministry said.
By major export destination, export orders from China and Europe last month declined 5.5 percent and 4.7 percent respectively from a year ago. The decline in orders from these two regions, which together accounted for half of total orders last month, accelerated from June’s 3.63 percent decline for China and 0.39 percent fall for Europe, according to the ministry’s data.
China placed US$9.12 billion in orders last month, with orders for precision machinery contracting US$290 million, accounting for the largest decline, while orders from Europe amounted to US$6.2 billion, with information and communication products contracting US$130 million, accounting for the largest decline in orders from Europe, Department of Statistics Deputy Director Beatrice Tsai (蔡美娜) said.
However, the latest statistics showed orders from the US rising 1.4 percent last month year-on-year to US$8.83 billion, with electronic products contributing the most to the increase, while those for six ASEAN countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) advanced 2.6 percent from year-on-year to US$4.08 billion, mainly because of an increase in orders for petroleum products.
“The good sign is that orders from the US and six ASEAN countries turned positive compared with June,” Tsai said. “We were worried that both the US, which declined for the first time in June since the financial crisis in 2009, and the six ASEAN countries, whose orders began to contract in May and continued in June, were falling into a decline mode. Fortunately, that did not happen.”
Orders from Japan have declined since May last year, but at slower rates during the last few months, the data showed.
When examined by product, information technology orders decreased 5 percent last month to US$8.92 billion from a year ago because of product transition and stiff international competition for HTC Corp (宏達電). Electronic goods orders increased 1.9 percent to US$8.58 billion mainly because of rising demand for smartphone chips in emerging markets.
Orders for precision instruments and basic metal products fell 12.4 percent and 15.5 percent from a year ago to US$2.95 billion and US$2.32 billion respectively, the data showed. Orders in the first seven months contracted US$3.6 billion, or 1.4 percent, to US$248.69 billion from a year ago, according to statistics.