Export orders last month dipped at a deeper-than-expected monthly pace of 28 percent, attributable to slumping demand for iPhones and computers, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
A quick and steep recovery in the first half of this year is not expected, the ministry said.
“The recovery will mostly happen in the second half, when global brands launch their new products,” Department of Statistics Director-General Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞) said by telephone.
“As the worldwide economy remains weak, this year will be a tough period for local exporters,” Lin said.
A ministry survey showed that export orders might pick up this month to between US$38.5 billion and US$39.5 billion.
That still implies an annual contraction of 6.8 to 9.2 percent.
The ministry forecast that in the first quarter, export orders might shrink by as much as 23 percent quarter-on-quarter, or an annual reduction of up to 8.5 percent.
Export orders last month fell to US$28.9 billion, compared with US$35.5 billion in the previous month, missing the ministry’s estimate of between US$31 billion and US$32 billion, which would have translated into a monthly decline of 21 to 23.4 percent.
On an annual basis, export orders last month shrank 10.9 percent, marking the fourth straight month of decline.
“Smartphone sales worldwide fell short of our expectations, as the market is reaching saturation and there is a longer replacement cycle,” Lin said. “Weak demand for smartphones has reduced orders at local handset assemblers and component supply chains.”
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the main assembler of iPhones, was on Apple Inc’s top 200 suppliers list.
Camera lens maker Largan Precision Industry Co (大立光) and passive component maker Yageo Corp (國巨) also made the list.
An uptick in global crude oil prices did not provide a solid boost to orders for petrochemical products, Lin said.
Demand for steel products only showed a lukewarm recovery, she said.
Export orders for information and communications technology products last month fell at an annual rate of 11 percent to US$7.9 billion, as declines in smartphones and PCs offset growth in server and networking equipment orders, the ministry said.
Slackening demand for smartphones also cut into orders for electronics, which slipped 8.1 percent annually to US$7.33 billion last month, it said.
Optoelectronics orders last month dropped 8.8 percent to US$1.57 billion, attributable to a price decline in slow season and rising competition from China, the ministry said.
Machinery goods orders last month plunged 24.5 percent to US$1.29 billion, as a US-China trade dispute has depressed demand from China, it said.
Petrochemical orders fell 9.7 percent from a year earlier to US$1.62 billion, while plastic and base metal orders fell 9 percent annually to US$1.5 billion, it added.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
ROW: A probe would determine if the rights of shareholders who were not allowed to vote yesterday had been violated, while the stock exchange also wants answers The election of board directors yesterday at Tatung Co (大同) sparked controversy after the company blocked some institutional and individual shareholders from participating in the general shareholders’ meeting, prompting the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to announce that the vote would be investigated. Lin Kuo Wen-yen (林郭文艷) was re-elected as chairwoman of the household-appliance maker’s nine-member board, but prior to the vote she announced that several shareholders would not have voting rights. They were being denied a vote because they had contravened the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Act (企業併購法), and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and