The nation’s exports grew 13.2 percent year-on-year to US$25.71 billion last month, as local firms benefited from inventory-building demand ahead of high-season sales in China, and development of next-generation electronic devices, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.
The growth dynamism could sustain this quarter, as the world economy is gaining momentum, giving global technology brands confidence to upgrade devices to boost sales.
“Exports saw an uptrend for the sixth consecutive month and recovered above the US$25 billion mark, in line with a stable economic recovery at home and abroad,” Department of Statistics Director-General Beatrice Tsai (蔡美娜) said.
The upcoming Golden Week in China to celebrate Workers’ Day is leading firms to build inventory as people are expected to take advantage of the week-long holiday to buy new electronic gadgets, Tsai said.
That helped explain why shipments to China, including Hong Kong, gained 16.8 percent from a year earlier to US$10.27 billion last month, making it Taiwan’s largest export market with a 39.9 percent share, the ministry’s report showed.
Exports to ASEAN nations totaled US$4.94 billion, rising 16.4 percent from a year earlier, as emerging economies in the trade bloc grew into the nation’s second-largest trade partner, the report said.
Demand for large flat panels gained popularity as evidenced by a 20.4 percent pickup to US$1.02 billion, a rare sign of late, Tsai said, attributing the phenomenon to low inventory in China.
Semiconductors retained their status as the main growth driver, increasing 25 percent year-on-year to US$7.55 billion last month, accounting for 29.4 percent of overall shipments, the report said.
Local chipmakers, camera lens vendors and other electronics component suppliers are helping global technology leaders, such as Apple Inc, redesign their smartphones and other devices that are set to hit the market later this year, Tsai said.
“That will continue to supply the catalyst for growth this quarter and beyond,” she said.
Meanwhile, recovering crude oil prices and global economy energized investment interest.
Imports grew at a faster pace of 19.8 percent to US$21.78 billion last month, diminishing the nation’s trade surplus by 13.2 percent to US$3.93 billion, the report said.
Imports of raw materials and capital equipment jumped 24.8 percent and 21.5 percent to US$15.14 billion and US$3.78 billion respectively, the report said.
For the first quarter, exports increased 15.1 percent to US$72.12 billion, while imports gained 21.6 percent to US$61.32 billion, the fastest pace of gain in six years, it said, adding that the cumulative trade surplus weakened 11.8 percent to US$10.79 billion.
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