The nation’s export orders grew for the third consecutive month to US$38.87 billion last month, driven mainly by electronics due to robust demand for smartphones, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
The figure was up 2.4 percent month-on-month and 8.9 percent year-on-year, the ministry said in a report.
“Local electronics manufacturers may sustain order growth for more months as many handset brands are set to launch high-end, but low-priced products in emerging markets,” Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞), director of the ministry’s statistics department, told a press conference.
Cumulative orders during the first four months of the year totaled US$143.62 billion, up 4.3 percent from the previous year, the report showed.
By product, orders for electronics including semiconductors — the nation’s top export sector — expanded by 16.6 percent annually and 5 percent monthly to US$9.76 billion last month, while those for machine tools increased by 12.4 percent year-on-year to US$1.95 billion.
However, because of weaker-than-expected demand for flat panels and severe price competition, orders for precision equipment dropped 3.9 percent monthly and 13.3 percent annually to US$2.74 billion last month, Lin said.
China and Hong Kong remained the largest sources of orders last month, contributing US$10.22 billion, followed by the US with US$9.29 billion and Europe with US$6.47 billion.
This month, 21.7 percent of firms polled by the ministry said their orders would grow from last month, while 18 percent expected orders to fall. Nonetheless, orders for electronics, information and communication products and precision equipment are likely to increase due to seasonal factors.
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