Taiwan’s exports up for 15th straight month in September

Taiwan's exports rose for a 15th consecutive month in September compared to a year earlier as global demand for tech gadgets and industrial items remained strong, Ministry of Finance (MOF) data showed Friday.

Taiwan's exports rose 29.2 percent in September from a year earlier to hit a new monthly high of US$39.65 billion. It was the seventh straight month that the country's outbound sales grew at a double digit pace, the data indicated.

Imports in September rose 40.4 percent from a year earlier to US$33.21 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of US$6.45 billion for the month, down US$610 million year-on-year, according to MOF figures.

In the third quarter, Taiwan's outbound sales rose 30.1 percent from a year earlier to US$117.15 billion and imports grew 42.5 percent to US$101.31 billion, translating to a trade surplus of US$15.84 billion, down US$3.09 billion year-on-year, the figures showed.

In the first nine months of the year, Taiwan's exports were up 30.7 percent from a year earlier to US$324.07 billion, while imports grew 33.3 percent to US$276.39 billion, for a trade surplus of US$47.68 billion, up US$6.97 billion year-on-year.

Commenting on the September trade figures, MOF statistics chief Beatrice Tsai (???) said emerging technologies and a booming stay-at-home economy continued to push up demand for tech devices, helping drive semiconductor exports to a new high.

In September, exports of Taiwanese electronic components rose 26.8 percent year-on-year to US$16.58 billion, of which semiconductor sales accounted for US$15.11 billion, the figures showed.

Exports of information and communications/video and audio devices totaled US$5.43 billion, up 22.8 percent from a year earlier, with computer peripheral exports up 50.0 percent to US$510 million, the MOF said.

Optoelectronic exports, however, rose only 4.8 percent from a year earlier to US$1.096 billion due to a fall in flat panel prices, Tsai said.

Tsai said non-high-tech businesses were helped by strong global demand. Exports of base metals, plastics/rubber items, machinery, and chemical products in September were up 60.7 percent, 32.5 percent, 28.2 percent and 45.1 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.

China and Hong Kong remained the largest buyers of Taiwan products in September, accounting for 44 percent of all exports with purchases of US$17.49 billion in goods, up 23.1 percent from a year earlier.

The United States came in second with purchases of US$6.01 billion in goods from Taiwan (a 15.16 percent share) in September, up 34.0 percent from a year earlier.

The next biggest markets were the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc (US$5.67 billion, up 23.7 percent), Europe (US$3.20 billion, up 39.3 percent), and Japan (US$2.60 billion, up 36.9 percent).

Looking ahead, Tsai said global demand is expected to remain strong and continue to push up Taiwan's exports to between US$39 billion and US$40.3 billion in October, which would be 21-25 percent higher than a year earlier.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel