Tue, Nov 21, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Export orders climb 9.2% annually, a new monthly record

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s export orders last month climbed 9.2 percent annually to a new monthly record of US$46.6 billion, driven by strong orders for an international company’s newly launched smartphones and “smart” wearables, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

The export orders beat the ministry’s forecast of between 5.4 percent and 7.8 percent, it said.

“The result not only exceeded our expectation, but it also marked the nation’s 15th consecutive year of expansion,” Department of Statistics Director-General Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞) told a news conference.

Lin declined to specify which international company, but it is widely believed that the ministry is referring to Apple Inc’s iPhone 8 models and its newest Apple Watch, as last month was the first full month of shipping since Apple unveiled the products in September.

Orders for information technology and communication (ICT) products and electronics goods gained 9.8 percent and 4.5 percent respectively last month from the same period last year, the highest monthly records for the sectors since the ministry started collecting data in 1953, Lin said.

She attributed the growth to the launching of the international company’s smartphones and wearables, which prompted orders for Taiwanese supply chains, including foundry, chip-testing and packaging services, electronics components and product assembly.

Rising global demand for networking devices, servers, automotive electronics and game consoles also lent support, Lin said.

Orders for basic metals, plastics and rubber goods, and petrochemical products last month continued to book double-digit percentage annual growth, on a continuing recovery in the global economy, which boosted average selling prices, Lin said.

Optical products recorded the slowest year-on-year expansion — 2.8 percent compared with December last year — dragged down by falling average selling prices and a decrease in shipments of large-sized flat panels, which offset the robust gain in shipments of small and medium-sized flat panels, Lin said.

Lin said that orders placed from the US gained 6.5 percent annually to a new high of US$13.79 billion on ICT products and game consoles.

China and Hong Kong added 13.2 percent to US$10.83 billion from a year ago, marking the highest amount during the period since 1953, she said.

Last month’s overall export orders caused accumulated export orders to increase 10 percent annually to US$395.64 billion in the first 10 months of this year, Lin said, adding that the ministry forecasts that this month’s export orders would climb 7.7 to 10 percent annually to between US$47 billion and US$48 billion.

The ministry estimates that export orders for this year could reach between US$489.5 billion and US$492.5 billion, which would mark the best annual performance since the ministry started collecting data, Lin said.

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