Taiwan exports grow for 10th straight month in July (update)

Taipei–Taiwan’s exports grew year-on-year for the 10th consecutive month in July, as global demand remained solid with the world economy on a steady road to recovery, according to data released Monday by the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

Taiwan’s outbound sales totaled US$27.11 billion in July, up 12.5 percent from a year earlier, after a 13 percent year-on-year increase in June, while imports grew 6.5 percent from a year earlier to US$21.74 billion, the MOF data showed.

Taiwan had a trade surplus of US$5.37 billion during the month, up US$1.69 billion year-on-year, the MOF data showed.

It was the first time Taiwan’s exports topped the US$27 billion mark since November 2014 and also the second consecutive month in which exports grew at a double-digit increase.

In the first seven months of the year, Taiwan’s exports were up 12.5 percent year-on-year at US$174.84 billion, and imports were up 14.9 percent at US$146.64 billion, resulting in a trade surplus that was up 1.5 percent from the previous year at US$28.2 billion, the MOF data indicated.

Tsai Mei-na, director of the MOF’s statistics department, said the July growth was higher than expected, after the ministry estimated a rise of under 10 percent because of a high base of comparison the previous year.

Tsai said the strong showing in July largely reflected solid demand for Taiwan’s integrated circuit products and machinery at a time of global economic recovery.

Exports of Taiwan-made electronics components in July, which accounted for about 32 percent of total exports, rose 9.4 percent from a year earlier to US$8.71 billion, with IC sales up 11.4 percent year-on-year at US$7.45 billion, the data showed.

According to the MOF, exports of Taiwan’s information and video/audio items rose 15.6 percent in July from a year earlier to US$3.01 billion, accounting for 11.1 percent of total outbound sales.

Benefiting from increased sales of automated production equipment, machinery exports soared 25.2 percent from a year earlier in July to US$2.26 billion, while exports of base metal products gained 20.5 percent year-on-year to US$2.58 million in the month.

Exports of optoelectronics gadgets, plastics/rubber products and chemical items rose 11.7 percent, 10.4 percent and 12.9 percent, respectively, from a year earlier to US$1.12 billion, US$1.93 billion and US$1.72 billion, according to the data.

China and Hong Kong remained the largest buyer of Taiwan’s goods, accounting for 39.5 percent of total outbound sales in July, according to the data. Exports to China and Hong Kong totaled US$10.71 billion, up 11.7 percent year-on-year last month.

Exports from Taiwan to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc, the United States, Europe and Japan rose 16.5 percent, 18.7 percent, 9.4 percent, and 5.7 percent, respectively, from a year earlier to US$5.12 billion, US$3.28 billion, US$2.50 billion, and US$1.94 billion in July.

Looking ahead, Tsai said international brands, including Apple Inc., are expected to unveil new products later in the year, and because Taiwanese firms are major suppliers of these vendors, Taiwan’s export growth momentum could continue for the rest of the year.

It is therefore possible, Tsai said, that this year’s export growth could challenge the 12.6 percent increase seen in 2011.

Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council