Taiwan's export orders reached an all-time high for June of US$40.35 billion, up 13 percent year on year, reflecting ongoing improvement in economic conditions at home and abroad, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs July 20.
The strong showing, which marked the 11th consecutive month of growth, springboards off a record US$223.63 billion result for the first half of the year, up 11.2 percent from the same time in 2016. The first- and second-quarter numbers were also the best to date.
Lin Lee-jen, director-general of the MOEA Department of Statistics, said the healthy figures are largely due to surging demand for Taiwan's top three export product areas: information and communication technology, electronics and optical.
According to Lin, the fast-paced global rollout of new laptops and tablets produced greater demand for the country's ICT offerings. A similar trend in handheld devices and large display panels was responsible for the equally robust performance of electronics and optical devices, which chalked up its sixth straight month of growth in June.
Overall, Taiwan's seven major export sectors all registered double-digit year-on-year growth in orders for June. Optical devices rose 24.6 percent to US$2.32 billion; chemicals, 18.3 percent to US$1.81 billion; machinery, 16.1 percent to US$2.07 billion; plastics and related products, 14.9 percent to US$1.96 billion; basic metals, 13.4 percent to US$2.26 billion, electronics, 12.1 percent to US$10.39 billion; and ICT, 10.9 percent to US$11.47 billion.
The U.S. remained Taiwan's top source of orders, up 13.1 percent year on year to US$11.45 billion, followed by mainland China and Hong Kong, up 17.3 percent to US$10.35 billion; and Europe, up 13.8 percent to US$7.16 billion.
But Lin warned of a possible slowdown in the third and fourth quarters stemming from mainland China's ramped up production in several areas, particularly display panels. Despite this development, it may still be possible for Taiwan to finish 2017 with double-digit year-on-year growth, she said.
Nearer term, Lin forecasts orders growth of 8.5 percent to 11.3 percent year on year for a minimum US$38 billion in July.
Source: Taiwan Today