Export orders grew for the sixth consecutive month to a record US$42.31 billion last month, bolstered by a stable increase in demand for electronics and information and communication products, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
Orders last month rose 3.1 percent from US$41.05 billion in November and 7.4 percent from US$39.99 billion a year ago, the ministry said in a report.
Supported by the demand for handset components, export orders for the full year edged up 0.4 percent to a record-high of US$442.93 billion from US$441 billion in 2012, the report showed.
That was the fourth straight year that export orders grew on an annual basis.
“Orders for chipsets and camera lens for handheld devices increased substantially last year, with the continual launch of new products by tech companies,” Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞), director of the ministry’s statistics department, told a press conference.
“The country’s smartphone and tablet supply chain is expected to see sustained order growth this year, as the global demand for high, mid and low-end handheld devices remains strong in both developed and developing countries,” she added.
Increased orders for assembly services by international handset brands lifted orders for information and communication products by 2.3 percent month-on-month and 13.5 percent year-on-year to a record US$12.01 billion last month, the ministry said.
For the whole of last year, orders for information and communication products also hit a record-high of US$116.19 billion, rising 5.1 percent from US$110.56 billion in 2012, the ministry added.
Meanwhile, driven by increased orders for IC design services, chipsets and DRAM used in smartphones and tablets, electronics orders rose 3.1 percent month-on-month and 14.7 percent year-on-year to record US$10.41 billion last month, it said.
That brought annual orders for electronics to another peak of US$106.01 billion, up 2.6 percent from US$103.35 billion in 2012, the report showed.
Except for orders from Japan, which fell 8.3 percent to US$37.04 billion last year, those from China, the US, Europe and ASEAN member countries all posted new record of US$113.04 billion, US$110.55 billion, US$81.73 billion and US$49.21 billion respectively, the report showed.
“Falling orders for PCs and LCD TVs was the main reason why orders from Japan dropped last year, despite two consecutive months of year-on-year growth in November and December,” Lin said.