The nation’s export orders last month grew 9.9 percent year-on-year to a record high US$50.03 billion, backed by rising demand for smartphones and 5G-related gadgets, as well as chips used in the devices, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said yesterday.
It was the seventh consecutive month of annual growth, and the ministry forecast that export orders would climb to between US$51.5 billion and US$53 billion this month, an increase of 8.9 percent to 12.1 percent year-on-year.
“Export orders were better than expected across all categories,” Department of Statistics Director Huang Yu-ling (黃于玲) said.
Photo: Ann Wang, Reuters
Growth in the electronic products sector was “especially notable,” Huang said, adding that the traditional sectors worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic were “recovering.”
Orders for electronic products grew 29.7 percent year-on-year and 14.5 percent month-on-month to US$16.1 billion due to sustained strong demand for work-from-home equipment, 5G applications and high-performance computing equipment, she said.
However, Huawei Technologies Co (華為) stockpiling chips before US sanctions took effect on Sept. 15 was also a factor, she added.
Orders for optical equipment were up 19.6 percent year-on-year to US$2.4 billion on work-from-home, distance-learning and entertainment-at-home demand, she said.
Orders for the information and communications technology sector fell 9.6 percent year-on-year to US$13.9 billion due to the delayed launch of “a smartphone product by an international company,” Huang said.
Orders for base metal products arrested six straight months of year-on-year contraction, growing 14.8 percent year-on-year to US$2.2 billion.
Plastic product orders also returned to growth, increasing 13.9 percent year-on-year to US$2 billion, while those for chemical products fell 2.6 percent to US$1.4 billion, but the decline was mild compared with the double-digit percentage decreases in the previous six months.
Orders for mechanical products grew 23.7 percent year-on-year to US$1.9 billion, “as more countries allocate production back home,” the ministry said in a statement.
The percentage of products made in Taiwan last month increased to 46 percent from 42.7 percent in September last year, ministry data showed.
The increase reflects a trend to decentralize production, Huang said.
“China used to be the world’s factory, but we are seeing a trend to move production to other countries as a risk mitigation measure,” she said. “We expect to see this trend continue.”
Although export orders last month grew by 9.9 percent when calculated in US dollars, the growth was only 3.6 percent when calculated in New Taiwan dollars, due to the local currency’s appreciation.
Small and medium-sized enterprises would likely to be most hurt when the strength of the local currency begins to affect the competitiveness, Huang said.
“Large manufacturers are more likely to be price-setters in their industry and are insulated against fluctuating exchange rates through risk mitigation measures,” she said.
Overall, export orders in the third quarter grew 11.9 percent year-on-year to US$141.1 billion, while in the first three quarters of the year they rose 4.2 percent year-on-year to US$363.7 billion, ministry data showed.
SOLIDARITY: A group of European lawmakers condemned China’s aggressive moves, while the foreign minister of Lithuania said Taiwan ‘cannot become a second Ukraine’ A German parliamentary delegation would visit Taiwan in the first week of October, German lawmaker Holger Becker on Monday told visiting Democratic Progressive Party legislators Fan Yun (范雲) and Lin I-chin (林宜瑾) at the Bundestag in Berlin. Asked by Fan whether he is worried about possible reprisals from Beijing, such as banning him and his family from entering China, Becker said he is more interested in visiting Taiwan, as “now is the time for democracies to stand together.” Fan and Lin also met with German officials to exchange views on digital education and governance. Investing in digital infrastructure and protecting equal rights to
As China waged extensive military exercises off Taiwan, a group of US defense experts in Washington was focused on their own simulation of an eventual — but for now entirely hypothetical — US-China war over the nation. The unofficial what-if game is being conducted on the fifth floor of an office building not far from the White House, and it posits a US military response to a Chinese invasion in 2026. Even though the participants bring a US perspective, they are finding that a US-Taiwan victory, if there is one, could come at a huge cost. “The results are showing that under
DRILLS CONTINUE: China’s creation of a restricted zone across the median line of the Taiwan Strait challenges a 70-year-old fact, a ministry of defense official said The nation’s military fully complies with international rules and guidelines when responding to Chinese military drills, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday, vowing to continue defending Taiwan in accordance with international law. China on Thursday launched four days of military drills around Taiwan proper in response to US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei. The drills were expected to end on Sunday, but neither Beijing nor Taipei confirmed their conclusion, although the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said it had seen some evidence suggesting at least a partial drawdown. However, China yesterday said the drills would continue, saying “the
A senior Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman has prompted a storm of ridicule online, after a late-night post in which she used restaurant listings to assert Beijing’s claim over Taiwan. “Baidu Maps show that there are 38 Shandong dumpling restaurants and 67 Shanxi noodle restaurants in Taipei,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) posted on Twitter late on Sunday. “Palates don’t cheat. #Taiwan has always been a part of China. The long lost child will eventually return home,” she added. Hua’s post came at the end of a week of tensions around the Taiwan Strait, during which Beijing raged at a