Taipei, April 20 (CNA) Taiwan's export orders rose 12.3 percent in March from a year earlier to US$41.12 billion, on the back of strong demand for electronic products and information and communication products, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said on Thursday.
The rise marked the eight consecutive month of positive growth and represented an increase of US$7.37 billion, or 21.8 percent, from the same month last year, according to the MOEA's Department of Statistics.
Orders for electronic products and information and communication products both reached the highest ever for March, rising 11.9 percent to US$10.72 billion and 10.4 percent to US$11.37 billion, respectively, from a year earlier, the ministry said.
Orders for electronic products increased due to strong demand for high-end wafers, DRAM and IC packaging and testing, while orders for information and communication equipment rose on increased demand for notebook computers, servers and network communication products, the ministry said.
Export orders for precision devices, meanwhile, rose a whopping 39.3 percent from a year earlier to US$2.42 billion on robust demand for LCD TV and large TV panels, the ministry said.
Export orders also increased in the traditional manufacturing sector because of a global economic rebound and a year-on-year increase in international oil and steel prices, according to the ministry.
Export orders for base metals, machinery, chemicals and plastics/rubber grew 19.2 percent, 13.3 percent, 12.1 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.
Orders from China and Hong Kong reached their highest ever monthly total, increasing by 19.9 percent from the same month last year to US$10.75 billion, the ministry said.
Orders also increased from the United States, Europe and Japan by 15.4 percent, 3.8 percent and 16.4 percent, respectively, but fell by 9.2 percent from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The ministry forecast that export orders in the electronics sector will remain stable in the near future as the development of the Internet of Things, automotive electronics, cloud computing and other emerging technologies continue to accelerate.
It also forecast positive growth in the traditional manufacturing sector, citing the global economic rebound and rising raw material prices.
(By Huang Ya-chuan and Christie Chen)