Export order data forecast to improve this month: research

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, May 22, 2013 - Page 13

The nation’s export order data for this month is expected to improve from last month on the back of rising global demand for handheld devices and flat panels, the Yuanta-Polaris Research Institute (元大寶華研究院) said yesterday.

The institute said there have been signs that foreign buyers have started to restock their inventories of Taiwan-made electronics products, in particular mobile communications devices and flat panels, in a bid to meet a buying spree over the summer vacation period.

Last month, export orders fell 1.1 percent from a year earlier to US$35.69 billion, marking the third consecutive year-on-year decline, while the figure was down 0.4 percent from a month earlier, the Ministry of Economic Affairs reported on Monday.

Yuanta-Polaris said the decline in export orders last month largely reflected weakening demand for electrical and base metal products during the month.

According to the ministry’s data, export orders for electrical products, such as motors, fell 15.4 percent from a year earlier and orders for basic metal goods dropped 9 percent, while those for information and communications products, such as smartphones, rose 2.4 percent year-on-year.

Despite the slower orders, Yuanta-Polaris said last month’s data was better than the expected 1.5 percent drop. After seasonal adjustments, the figure registered a 2.2 percent increase on a monthly basis.

However, it warned about the impact of the yen’s weakness, saying that if the yen’s devaluation continues, any improvement in this month’s export orders is likely to be capped.

Meanwhile, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) said the central bank will likely leave interest rates unchanged at its next quarterly policymaking meeting next month despite weak export orders last month.

ANZ forecast that the central bank would “start to normalize interest rates” in the last quarter of the year at the earliest.

“Although inflationary pressures are subdued, domestic liquidity conditions remain ample and funding costs are low,” it said.