Export orders grew 9.1 percent annually to US$36.81 billion last month, bolstered by a better-than-expected global economy, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
The result beat the government’s estimate of growth of 5 to 8 percent.
It also represented the 10th straight month of annual expansion, ministry data showed.
“Supported by a recovering global economy, the slow season this year turned out better than we expected,” Department of Statistics Director-General Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞) told a news conference.
Export orders for the first five months of the year advanced to a record US$183.27 billion, rising 10.8 percent from the same period last year, data showed.
Orders for information technology and communication products, such as notebook computers and smartphones, rose 8.2 percent annually to a record US$10.13 billion last month, Lin said.
Orders for electronics goods rose 4.5 percent to US$9.29 billion from the same month last year on increasing orders for foundry and memorychips.
Driven by continued robust demand for TV panels, orders for optical products surged 25.1 percent to US$2.26 billion last month from a year earlier, Lin said, adding that it was the fifth consecutive month of double-digit percentage annual expansion.
Orders for basic metals, plastics and rubber products, machinery goods, and petrochemical products all grew last month from the same month last year on the back of increased global crude oil and raw material prices compared with last year, Lin said.
Higher oil product and raw material prices spurred demand for the nation’s traditional industries this year, she added.
Citing a survey conducted by the ministry, Lin said that most manufacturers — both in the technology and traditional industries — saw limited impact from the sharp appreciation of the New Taiwan dollar.
“The companies said that their competitiveness in the industry is the main factor that decides pricing and receipt of orders from clients, not the NT’s fluctuation,” Lin said.
The ministry expects export orders for this month to reach between US$37 billion and US$38 billion, representing annual growth of between 3.6 and 6.4 percent.
That would bring export orders for the second quarter to between US$109.4 billion and US$110.4 billion, she said.
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