The nation’s export orders increased for the fourth consecutive month to US$39.59 billion last month, as demand for mobile devices continues to grow in the global market in the wake of new product launches, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said yesterday.
Last month’s figures rose 3.2 percent from US$38.38 billion a year ago and 3 percent higher than the US$38.42 billion in the previous month, according to the ministry’s report.
Riding growth in demand for smartphones and tablets, last month’s orders climbed to their second-highest level in the nation’s history.
The ministry reported a record order level of US$40.73 billion in November last year.
“As always, export orders took off after the launch of new PC products in the global market, which usually happens in the third quarter of the year,” Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞), director of the ministry’s department of statistics, told a press conference.
For this month, 58.5 percent of firms forecast orders this month would remain flat from last month, while 26 percent said the amount would decrease and another 15.5 percent expected an increase, the ministry’s survey showed.
Driven by handheld devices, orders for information and communication products grew for the fourth straight month to US$10.66 billion last month, up 8.3 percent year-on-year, but down 3.5 percent month-on-month.
Orders for electronics rose 10.7 percent year-on-year and 6.1 percent month-on-month to US$9.91 billion last month, driven largely by chipsets used in mobile devices rather than traditional PCs, Lin said.
“We see orders for desktops and laptops continuing to fall, but the downside was balanced by the rise of smartphones and tablets, for which demand is forecast to remain vigorous through the end of the year,” Lin said.
With the US’ and European countries’ economies improving, the ministry forecast orders for mobile devices would continue achieving annual growth and remain the driver of the country’s export orders during this and next month.
Consumers in developed countries are more likely to replace their high-end gadgets with new-generation ones during the year-end holidays, while consumers in emerging markets may increase their orders for mid-end models, the ministry said.
As for non-tech products, the latest report showed orders for precision equipment declined for the sixth consecutive month to US$2.85 billion last month — down 13.5 percent year-on-year and 2.4 percent month-on-month — because of weakening demand for panels for TVs and touch-enabled laptops.
During the first 10 months of the year, the nation’s cumulative orders totaled US$359.57 billion, down 0.4 percent from US$360.89 billion during the same period last year.