Taiwan’s IC exports last month hit a new monthly record of US$11.9 billion, up 46.3 percent from a year earlier, on the back of strong global demand, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said on Thursday.
Although the first quarter is traditionally a slow season for the semiconductor sector, emerging applications such as automotive electronics, 5G, high-performance computing and the Internet of Things helped the nation’s IC suppliers boost their sales, the ministry said in a statement.
The momentum has carried over from last year, when the semiconductor industry shrugged off the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with exports totaling US$122.5 billion, up 22.1 percent from a year earlier, the ministry said.
Demand for Taiwanese chips in major markets such as China, Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia remained as strong last month as it was a year earlier, it said.
The semiconductor industry has become the main driver of Taiwan’s export growth over the past decade, the ministry said.
From 2011 to last year, the compound annual growth rate of the nation’s exports averaged 1.1 percent, while the rate for semiconductor exports averaged 3.3 percent, and the rate for information technology, communications and audiovisual equipment averaged 9 percent, the ministry said.
Without the semiconductor industry, the average growth rate of the nation’s exports would have been minus-1.5 percent, the ministry added.
China and Hong Kong were combined the destination of more than 50 percent of Taiwanese semiconductor exports over the past decade, and last month about 60 percent of the exports went to those markets, it said.
China’s high demand for Taiwanese ICs is driven by an inventory build-up by the country’s numerous brands, the ministry said.
Especially before the US on Sept. 15 last year imposed sanctions on Huawei Technologies Co (華為), Chinese buyers stockpiled Taiwan-made ICs, it said.
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