Export orders reached a record high last month on the back of strong demand for mobile devices, up 6.1 percent month-on-month to US$40.73 billion, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
On an annual basis, last month’s orders expanded 11.1 percent to mark the third consecutive increase since September, Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞), director of the ministry’s statistics department, told a press conference.
“Due to strong demand for smartphones and tablet computers, export orders for information and communication products, electronics and precision equipment increased significantly last month,” Lin said.
The data showed orders for information and communication products rose 11.2 percent to US$10.94 billion from a month ago. Compared to the same period of last year, this represents a 17.2 percent increase.
Orders for chips for smartphones and tablets increased 6.3 percent month-on-month and 8.6 percent year-on-year to US$9.51 billion last month, while orders of precision equipment grew 3.5 percent to US$3.41 billion last month from October, up 13.1 percent from last year, the report indicated.
In the first 11 months, export orders totaled US$401.61 billion, rising 0.4 percent from the same period of last year.
“The outperformance suggests that recent global launch of new tablets, smartphones, etc, has benefited local producers, as well as indicating that the tendency for overseas buyers to place rush orders ahead of year-end festive sales season has become more of a norm,” said Tony Phoo (符銘財), a Taipei-based economist at Standard Chartered Bank.
“Today’s data also show a possible jump in terms of tech exports for December after a rather disappointing figure in November. Importantly, the improving outlook for the island’s tech sector should bode well in terms of hiring and capex spending and is in line with our view that the economy is likely to show moderate growth rebound into 2013,” Phoo said in a statement.
The ministry forecast orders would grow about 10 percent this month from a year earlier, driven by strong demand for information and communication, electronics and precision products. It predicted the full-year orders to increase by 1 percent from last year.
The US placed a total of US$10.74 billion in orders last month, followed by China and Hong Kong, which placed a total of US$10.09 billion. Orders from Europe rose 14.2 percent to US$7.78 billion while Japan’s orders fell 8.4 percent to US$3.34 billion.
Six ASEAN countries — Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam — placed US$4.39 billion in orders, up 2.3 percent from October.