The nation’s export orders fell 2.4 percent year-on-year to US$35.7 billion last month, better than the government’s estimate of a 6.23 percent annual drop, as demand for notebook computers and semiconductor products picked up, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
The results marked the 15th consecutive month of annual declines in orders, but the scale of the fall was less than the previous 14 months, ministry data showed.
Last month’s orders grew 5.9 percent from the US$33.73 billion recorded in May, the data showed.
“Robust demand for notebooks from the European market and chips used in smartphones were the main drivers of the monthly growth in Taiwan’s export orders,” Department of Statistics Director-General Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞) said at a news conference.
Export orders for information and communication products grew 10.4 percent month-on-month to US$10.34 billion, but edged down 0.5 percent year-on-year due to a high base last year as local manufacturers ramped up deliveries of Apple Inc’s smartwatches, Lin said.
Orders for electronics goods, mainly semiconductor products, expanded 1.5 percent annually and 4.3 percent monthly to US$9.28 billion, following two consecutive months of year-on-year declines.
Orders for machinery goods also increased 1.5 percent annually and 5.1 percent monthly to US$1.78 billion last month — the segment’s first annual growth in the past 14 months — driven by orders from Europe and ASEAN, Lin said.
Orders for precision instruments saw annual declines narrow to 17.7 percent from 19.3 percent the previous month, on the back of the recovering demand for panel products, she said.
“We have seen rising production utilization rates of local panel makers over the past few months because of improving demand from China,” Lin said.
Higher average selling prices of steel products also lent support to orders for basic metals last month, easing the annual decline to 2.7 percent from 4.1 percent in May, she said.
By destination, orders from the US grew 1.2 percent annually and 7.8 percent monthly to US$10.12 billion last month, while those from Europe increased 3.2 percent annually and 9.4 percent monthly to US$6.29 billion on the back of strong demand for electronics goods and information and communication products, Lin said.
Orders from China and Hong Kong dropped 2.4 percent year-on-year, but expanded 4.9 percent month-on-month to US$8.82 billion last month, she said.
The ministry said strong demand for information and communication goods, electronics products and basic metals would remain this month, boosting export orders to between US$35.5 billion and US$36 billion, compared with US$36.29 billion in the same period last year.
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