Fri, Mar 02, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Export orders surge, hit record high for January

ROBUST MOMENTUM:The Ministry of Economic Affairs said the figure represents the 18th consecutive month of annual growth in exports, and forecasts look promising

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan’s export orders surged 19.7 percent annually to US$43.06 billion in January, the highest performance for the month since the government started collecting data in 1953, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

“Both tech and traditional industries showed robust growth last month on continued expansion of the global economy. A lower comparison base last year also helped boost the scale of expansion,” Department of Statistics Director-General Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞) told a news conference in Taipei.

The January increase represents the 18th consecutive month of annual growth, the ministry’s data showed.

The last time Taiwan saw such a long period of year-on-year growth was between October 2009 and November 2011, spanning 26 months in total, Lin said.

After taking into account potential disruptions from the Lunar New Year holiday, combined export orders for the first two months of the year are forecast to grow by at least 10 percent from the same period last year, Lin said.

“It is certain that the export orders for the January-to-March period will grow from the same period last year,” she said, adding that although the smartphone industry is entering a slow season, the demand for “smart” speakers, automotive electronics and cryptocurrency mining remains strong.

Traditional industries, like basic metals and machinery goods, could still see stable order intake this quarter, on the back of rising global raw materials prices, Lin said.

Last month, orders for electronics components and information and communications technology rose by 12.5 percent and 17.5 percent respectively, representing records for the same month since 1953, she said.

Lin attributed the growth momentum to smartphone assembling orders for an international brand, as well as global demand for servers, graphics processing units used in cryptocurrency mining, gaming products and networking devices.

Orders for basic metals, chemicals and machinery goods all showed double-digit percentage growth from a year earlier, supported by rising prices of steel and crude oil, coupled with an increase in orders for industrial automation equipment, the ministry said.

Orders for plastics and rubber products jumped 42.5 percent annually, mainly benefiting from Japan’s anti-dumping duties on Chinese polyethylene terephthalate — which is used to make plastic bottles — as this prompted clients to shift their orders to Taiwanese suppliers, Lin said.

The US continued to be Taiwan’s largest export destination, with orders growing 16.3 percent annually. Orders from China and Hong Kong were the second largest, with orders surging by 31 percent from a year ago, the ministry said.

Year-on-year, orders from Europe and Japan grew 15.3 percent and 17.8 percent respectively last month, the report showed.

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