Export orders last month decreased 5.8 percent year-on-year to US$38.72 billion, declining for the seventh consecutive month since November last year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
Despite an across-the-board decline ranging from electronics to petrochemicals, information and communications technology products saw an annual increase in orders of 1 percent to US$10.66 billion, a record high, the ministry said.
The ministry attributed the growth to strong demand for high-end laptops, especially in Europe and Japan, which increased by US$90 million and US$80 million respectively.
Orders for electronics contracted 6.3 percent year-on-year to US$9.93 billion, mainly due to flagging sales of high-end smartphones, the ministry said.
Orders for wafer foundry and chip packaging services, as well as passive components, all suffered from the effects of an ongoing trade dispute between the US and China, as well as falling DRAM prices, with orders of electronic products from China and Hong Kong dropping the most by US$450 million.
The trade dispute has also affected machinery makers’ export orders, which shrank 17.9 percent to US$1.81 billion, the ministry said, adding that orders from China and Hong Kong decreased the most by US$120 million, while those for the US were down US$110 million.
Optoelectronics orders declined 10 percent to US$1.85 billion, which the ministry attributed to a drop in flat-panel prices due to Chinese products flooding the market.
Overall, export orders to the US were down 2 percent to US$10.99 billion, accounting for 28.4 percent of Taiwan’s total orders, while those to China and Hong Kong dropped 13.9 percent to US$9.89 billion, the ministry said.
Cumulative orders from January to last month dropped 6.9 percent annually to US$184.36 billion, ministry data showed.
Regarding a US ban on Huawei Technologies Co Ltd (華為) and the unresolved trade dispute between the US and China, the ministry remained apprehensive on export orders for the coming months.
A survey of exporters showed that orders this month are expected to surpass last month’s in monetary terms.
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