Fri, Jul 21, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Export growth shows no sign of slowing

ROBUST DEMAND:Smartphone vendors’ expected launches of flagship handsets and rising orders for computers should support growth through the second half of the year

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s export orders for last month beat government estimates, expanding 13 percent year-on-year to US$40.35 billion, supported by stronger-than-expected demand for notebook computers, tablets and electronics components, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

The result marked the 11th consecutive month of year-on-year expansion, ministry data showed.

“The monthly performance significantly exceeded the ministry’s expectation,” Department of Statistics Director-General Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞) told a news conference.

The annual growth is much higher than the ministry’s forecast of between 3 percent and 6 percent, she added.

Lin said notebook and tablet launches by international brands helped orders for information and communications technology products grow 10.9 percent in annualized terms to US$11.47 billion last month, the highest order total for June in the ministry’s books.

Orders at electronics components businesses, such as foundries, chip testers, packagers and memorychip makers, grew 12.1 percent to a record high of US$10.39 billion on increasing demand for higher-specification smartphones, Internet of Things applications and high-performance computing, Lin said.

Lin said optical products, basic metals, machinery goods, plastics and rubber products, as well as chemical goods, all logged double-digit percentage growth last month from the same period last year, thanks to a recovering global economy that drove demand in the sectors.

Orders from the US, China and Hong Kong and Europe last month grew by double-digit percentages annually and all represented historical records, ministry data showed.

The monthly performance brought cumulative export orders to US$223.63 billion in the first half of this year, up 11.2 percent from US$225.5 billion in the same period last year.

“The economy this year is stronger than last year. This is the largest year-on-year expansion since 2011,” Lin said.

The ministry is optimistic and expects growth momentum to extend through the remainder of this year, Lin said.

Many international smartphone vendors, including Apple Inc, are scheduled to release new flagship handsets in the coming months, Lin said..

Robust demand in commercial, consumer and industrial PCs, and growing orders for servers should lend support to export orders in the second half of this year, she said.

The ministry forecast export orders this month to hit between US$38 billion and US$39 billion, which translates into a year-on-year surge of between 8.5 percent and 11.3 percent, Lin said.

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