Wed, Nov 21, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Export orders continue pickup

TECHNOLOGY BOOST:Orders climbed 1.9 percent last month, backed by new model launches for smartphones, tablets and ultralight notebook computers, an official said

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Export orders grew for a second consecutive month to US$38.38 billion last month, marking the second-highest on record, as new product launches bolstered demand for consumer electronics products, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

Export orders grew 1.9 percent from US$37.66 billion in September and 3.2 percent from US$37.21 billion in the same month last year. Orders reached their highest in March last year, when the figure hit US$38.99 billion, ministry data showed.

“The steady growth of the nation’s export orders in the second half of the year was mainly due to rising demand for mobile devices after the launch of new smartphones, tablets and ultralight notebook computers,” Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞) director-general of the ministry’s statistics department, told a press conference.

Export orders are an indicator of shipments in the next one to three months. Last month, orders for information and communication products totaled US$9.84 billion, up 3.5 percent compared with the previous month, thanks to new smartphone and tablet computer models and Microsoft Corp’s new operating system, ministry data showed. However, the figure was down 0.3 percent from the previous month.

Orders for electronic products hit a record-high US$8.95 billion, up 1.1 percent from the previous month and 0.4 percent from a year ago.

By destination, orders from the US and six ASEAN countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) posted new record-highs at US$9.71 billion and US$4.3 billion respectively, with information and communications products and electronic devices contributing the most to the increase.

Orders from the US accounted for 25.5 percent of overall export orders, while those from ASEAN made up 11.2 percent of the total, ministry statistics showed.

However, orders from China, which accounted for 24.2 percent of total orders last month, decreased to US$9.39 billion from US$10.2 billion in September, with orders for electronic devices contracting 12.9 percent to US$2.61 billion and accounting for the largest decline.

Orders from Japan showed a monthly increase of 8.1 percent to US$3.65 billion last month, while those from Europe saw a monthly growth of 5.9 percent to US$6.81 billion, data showed

“Based on our survey, we are likely to see annual growth in export orders this year, mainly due to increasing demand for TV panels, semiconductors and petrochemical products ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday,” Lin said.

For this month, the ministry said export orders were likely to rise as a ministry survey of local manufacturers showed that the sentiment indices of six of the eight manufacturing sectors improved last month.

Based on the survey, the sentiment indices for precision machinery, information and communication products, chemicals, electrical engineering items, electronics and plastics goods all stood above the 50 borderline last month.

In the first 10 months of the year, export orders totaled US$360.89 billion, down 0.6 percent from the same period last year, ministry data showed.

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