Orders increase for fifth straight month

EXPORTS::While orders for precision equipment and information and communication products declined, orders for traditional products increased at double-digit rates

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 - Page 13

Export orders grew for a fifth consecutive month on an annual basis last month to US$37.14 billion, as a recovering global economy fueled demand for Taiwanese electronics, statistics released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs showed yesterday.

Export orders rose 18 percent year-on-year from US$31.48 billion compared with the same month last year, according to the ministry’s tallies.

However, on a monthly basis, export orders slipped 5.7 percent from December’s US$39.39 billion, as demand slackened on seasonal factors before new products hit the market, the ministry said.

The decline is expected to extend into this month because of fewer working days, according to a survey released by the ministry.

“We can see that the global economy is on the road to recovery, but we cannot be sure if the momentum will be sustainable in March and April,” Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞), director-general of the ministry’s statistics department, told a press conference.

By product, precision equipment orders declined the most by 13.5 percent sequentially to US$2.73 billion last month, due to excessive inventory of panels used in TVs and a decrease in demand for panels used in notebooks, Lin said.

However, compared with the US$2.4 billion in export orders a year ago, the figure was up 13.8, she added.

Export orders for information and communication products contracted 12.6 percent to US$9.24 billion last month from US$10.58 billion the previous month, Lin said.

On an annual basis, orders expanded 22.2 percent because of a low base in January last year and because of greater demand for smartphones and tablets than the same period last year, she added.

Orders for traditional products, such as machinery, mechanical products, plastics and basic metals, posted double-digit annual growth last month, Lin told reporters.

The ministry said export orders from Europe declined the most, falling 16.3 percent month-on-month to US$7.18 billion last month.

They were followed by orders from the US, slipping 9.6 percent to US$9.03 billion, and orders from China and Hong Kong, which dropped 1.1 percent to US$9.39 billion.

Supported by an increase in orders for mechanical products, total export orders from ASEAN countries grew 2.6 percent to US$4.22 billion from US$4.11 billion a month ago,

Export orders Japan also rose 1.5 percent to US$3.14 billion, mainly because of an increase in orders for fuel products, the ministry said.

Due to fewer working days this month, the ministry forecast that export orders would fall compared with last month.

However, overall, accumulated export orders during the first two months of the year are expected to grow by more than 5 percent on an annual basis, the ministry said.