The nation’s machine tool exports last month declined 13.8 percent from a year ago because of lower shipments to China before the Lunar New Year, the latest industrial data showed.
Machine tool exports last month were US$247.49 million, down from US$287.28 million a year ago, according to data compiled by the Taiwan Machine Tool and Accessory Builders’ Association. The figure was 21.9 percent lower than that of December last year, data showed.
Exports to China, the largest export market, declined 32.7 percent to US$60.23 million last month from US$89.51 million a year earlier and were 40.5 percent lower than US$101.28 million a month ago.
“Companies in China usually reduce their purchase before the Lunar New Year holidays,” association secretary-general Carl Huang (黃建中) said by telephone yesterday.
Exports to the US, the second-largest export destination for local manufacturers, dropped 20.7 percent to US$29.37 million from US$37.05 million a year ago and were 11 percent lower than US$32.99 million a month earlier, affected by a lack of employees for the manufacturing industry there, Huang said.
Thailand was the nation’s third-largest market last month, with exports of US$14.87 million, up 11.7 percent from US$13.31 million a year earlier, but down 18.5 percent from US$18.25 million a month ago.
Despite the drop last month, Huang remains optimistic that the improving global economy will drive up Taiwan’s machine tool exports by around 10 percent this year from last year’s US$3.55 billion, when exports dropped 16.2 percent from US$4.24 billion in 2012.