Export orders grew year-on-year for the 13th consecutive month last month totaling US$53.66 billion, up 26 percent monthly and 33.3 percent annually, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) reported yesterday.
In addition, export orders last month increased for a fifth straight month of double-digit percentage growth to set a record for the month of March, ministry data showed.
With vaccination programs in countries such as the US having a positive effect on economies and the expectation that Europe and other countries will catch up, global demand is accelerating and lifting Taiwan’s export orders, Department of Statistics Director Huang Yu-ling (黃于玲) told a news conference in Taipei.
Photo: Huang Pei-chun, Taipei Times
Months when export orders surpass US$50 billion — which happened for the first time in September last year — might become the “new normal,” Huang said.
“I’m not saying that it is going to happen every single month, but we can expect more and more months when export orders do break US$50 million,” she said.
The “red hot” information communications and technology (ICT) sector has not slowed down, with orders totaling US$14.02 billion, up 21 percent year-on-year and a new high for the month of March, while orders in the optical equipment sector reached US$2.64 billion, up 45.2 percent year-on-year — the 10th consecutive month of growth, the ministry said.
The growth is expected to continue this month, with orders forecast to increase by 29.8 to 33.7 percent annually, it added.
Huang attributed the high figures to local competitiveness in “high-end semiconductors” and other tech areas, saying that she expects orders in traditional industries to surge in the second half of this year, as more countries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
One headwind for exporters could come in the form of a stronger local currency.
The New Taiwan dollar posted its biggest two-day advance of the year, appreciating 0.8 percent against the US dollar this week.
A report released last week by the US Department of the Treasury indicated that Washington might pressure Taipei to allow the currency to appreciate, calling the NT dollar “structurally undervalued.”
Huang said she is not worried about the effect of foreign-exchange factors on Taiwan’s exports.
“In the short term, the Korean won, the Chinese yuan and the euro have all gained more value versus the US dollar than the NT dollar,” Huang said. “In the long term, I have faith in the competitiveness of our tech sector.”
The government would continue to help small and medium-sized firms, as well as traditional industries, upgrade their competitiveness on the global market, she said.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg
UNWANTED ATTENTION: In the past two months, the automaker has made headlines, with a Chinese military ban of its vehicles and a protest at an expo Electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc, facing scrutiny in China over safety and customer service complaints, is boosting its engagement with regulators and beefing up its government relations team, industry sources said. Tesla’s change of strategy leading to more behind-the-scenes interaction with policymakers in Beijing compared with relatively little previously shows the seriousness with which the US automaker views the setbacks in its second-biggest market. TALKING SHOP It also comes at a time when China is trying to regulate large and powerful private companies, especially in the technology sector, on concerns about their market dominance. As they do elsewhere, regulators in China, the world’s biggest
Dell Technologies Inc has agreed to sell its Boomi cloud business to private equity firms Francisco Partners and TPG in a cash deal valued at US$4 billion, as part of efforts by chief executive officer Michael Dell to trim down the PC maker. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year, the companies said in a statement on Sunday without providing additional details of the terms. Dow Jones had earlier reported that the companies were near a deal. Boomi specializes in integrating different cloud platforms for companies and has more than 15,000 customers. Dell agreed to acquire the company for
Intel Corp wants 8 billion euros (US$9.7 billion) in public subsidies toward building a semiconductor factory in Europe, chief executive officer Pat Gelsinger was cited as saying on Friday, as the region seeks to reduce its reliance on imports amid a shortage of supplies. The pitch is the first time that Gelsinger has publicly put a figure on how much state aid he would want, as Intel campaigns to take on Asian rivals in contract manufacturing. “What we’re asking from both the US and the European governments is to make it competitive for us to do it here, compared to in Asia,”
GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓), the world’s No. 3 silicon wafer supplier, yesterday said that it is considering further capacity expansion as customers are requesting more capacity due to rising end-market demand and persistent supply constraints. The Hsinchu-based company said that emerging technologies and applications from 5G, artificial intelligence and electric vehicles are driving semiconductor demand. The semiconductor industry has a positive outlook for this year and beyond, with shipments of all diameters of wafers to increase through 2023, GlobalWafers said. “We have received requests for expansion from many strategic partners. We are now in discussions with customers,” company chairwoman Doris Hsu (徐秀蘭) told a