Mon, Mar 23, 2015 - Page 13 News List

Exports to rebound this month: MOEA

MOBILE MOMENTUM:New mobile launches would boost exports, the MOEA said, while growth in the first two months of this year was 3.2%, lower than the 5% it had predicted

Staff writer, with CNA

The launch of new mobile devices is expected to boost the nation’s export orders this month following lower-than-expected demand in the first two months of this year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said.

Department of Statistics Director-General Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞) said that international brands are preparing to unveil mobile gadgets and wearable devices that would benefit Taiwanese electronics exporters by generating more orders.

In addition, local machinery makers are likely to see their orders increase following the six-day Taipei International Machine Tool Show, which ended on March 8, and attracted many potential international buyers, Lin said.

According to Lin, export orders for the first quarter could rise slightly from the same period last year, when the figure stood at US$104.76 billion, up 2.7 percent from a year earlier, but down 14.8 percent from last quarter.

Last month, Taiwan’s export orders fell 2.7 percent from a year earlier to US$29.89 billion, MOEA statistics showed.

However, in the first two months of this year, the nation’s export orders rose 3.2 percent year-on-year to US$68.93 billion.

However, the growth, was lower than the ministry’s earlier forecast of a 5 percent rise.

The MOEA said that the fall in export orders last month reflected the reduced number of working days caused by the Lunar New Year holiday. Falling chemical and rubber prices due to a plunge in international crude oil prices also affected export orders, the ministry said.

In terms of specific items, in the first two months of the year, rubber/plastics and chemical exporters posted a year-on-year 8.2 percent fall and a 13.2 percent drop in export orders, respectively, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, Taiwanese base metal makers felt the impact of falling steel prices caused by a supply glut in China and price competition. That caused Taiwan’s base metal export orders for the two-month period to fall 10.2 percent from a year earlier, the MOEA said.

It added that an anti-dumping investigation launched by the EU also affected domestic base metal export orders over the same period.

The MOEA said that as domestic flat panel exporters faced escalating price competition, in particular in small and medium-sized screens, export orders placed to the nation’s precision equity sector fell 3.6 percent annually over the period. However, other high-tech firms continued to enjoy solid global demand for handheld devices, with the information and communications technology and electronics segments seeing their export orders rise 13.9 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.

In the two-month period, Taiwan’s export orders from the US, and Europe rose 17.5 percent and 13.1 percent, respectively, while export orders from China and Hong Kong fell 1.6 percent year-on-year and orders from Japan dropped 26.4 percent.

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