Sat, Dec 21, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Handhelds, laptops lift export orders to fresh heights

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Export orders hit a record-high US$41.05 billion last month due to robust global demand for handheld devices and a pickup in worldwide laptop shipments, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

“Increased orders for smartphones, tablets and laptops drove total orders for information and communication products and electronics to record levels last month,” Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞), director of the ministry’s department of statistics, told a press conference.

“The growth [in smartphone and tablet orders] is expected to be sustained through this month, supported by strong replacement demand for vendors’ new products and increasing shipments to emerging markets for the year-end holidays,” she added.

According to the ministry’s report, last month’s export orders grew 3.7 percent from US$39.59 billion in October and 0.8 percent from US$40.73 billion a year ago.

Since July, export orders have expanded for five consecutive months, buoyed by orders for information and communication devices and electronics products, which together accounted for about 50 percent of total orders, the report showed.

Orders for information and communication products grew 10.1 percent month-on-month and 7.3 percent year-on-year to a record US$11.74 billion last month, the ministry said.

Thanks to vigorous demand for handsets, orders for electronics, including chips used in smartphones and tablets, grew 2 percent month-on-month and 6.2 percent year-on-year to a record US$10.1 billion, it added.

Lin said orders this month are likely to remain at the same level as last month, as “the US and European economies steadily recover, while Chinese consumption and exports pick up.”

“Though we are optimistic, we are concerned about the US Federal Reserve’s move to taper its quantitative-easing policy, which might impact the global economy as well as the country’s export orders,” she added.

Citing a survey conducted by the ministry, Lin said 17.3 percent of local firms forecast orders would grow this month from last month, while 55.9 percent expect orders to be flat and 26.8 percent predicted a decline.

The survey also showed that the overseas production ratio climbed to 53.7 percent last month, indicating that up to 53.7 percent of local firms’ orders were completed overseas, the ministry said.

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