MOEA upbeat about H2 exports after 11th straight month of growth

2017/09/09 13:41:58
MOEA upbeat about H2 exports after 11th straight month of growth

Taipei, Sept. 9 (CNA) The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) expressed optimism toward Taiwan's export performance for the second half of this year after the country reported a year-on-year increase in outbound sales for the 11th consecutive month in August.

In a statement released on Friday, the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) under the MOEA said that Taiwan is riding waves of solid global demand and enjoying a strong performance in exports at a time when the world's economy is on the path of recovery.

The comments came after Taiwan released the latest trade data on the same day which said the country posted an almost 13 percent year-on-year increase in exports in August, marking the 11th consecutive month it has reported growth in outbound sales.

The BOFT said what also helped was that in the past eight months, the bureau organized 66 trade promotion events overseas for more than 23,000 Taiwanese firms. The activities helped local exporters strike over 1,600 deals worth more than US$5.2 billion.

The bureau said it will continue making such trade promotion efforts and take advantage of an uptrend in global demand.

In August, Taiwan's exports rose 12.7 percent to US$27.77 billion, a new high in almost three years partly due to strong global demand from consumers for electronics devices, according to data released by the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

In addition, machinery item sales also grew significantly as many manufacturers overseas were keen to expand production capacity in the wake of an improvement in economic fundamentals, the data showed.

It indicated that Taiwan's electronics component exports for August rose 14.4 percent from a year earlier to US$9.64 billion, the highest level for the month, with outbound semiconductor sales hitting a new high of US$8.36 billion.

Tsai Mei-na (蔡美娜), director of the MOF's statistics department, said that the strong demand for Taiwan's electronics components partly reflected an increase in orders placed by Apple Inc. for the launch of the next generation iPhones.

The U.S. consumer electronics giant has invited the press to a product launch event scheduled for Sept. 12. The market has widely anticipated that the new iPhones will debut that day and are expected to trigger waves of replacements later this year, the 10th anniversary of the iPhone.

At the same time, due to the rising popularity in smart production, the MOF said, Taiwan's machinery exports for August rose 26.8 percent to US$2.28 billion. Tsai said that the electronics and machinery sectors served as the dual engines to power Taiwan's exports in August.

In August, except for transportation equipment and mineral products, other categories including plastics and base metal, also posted a double digit growth in outbound sales, the data showed.

In terms of export destinations, Taiwan's exports to China/Hong Kong for August rose 14.5 percent from a year earlier to US$11.39 billion while outbound sales to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc grew 19 percent to US$5.35 billion, according to the MOF.

Tsai said that strong demand from China/Hong Kong and the ASEAN countries also served as a driver to Taiwan's export growth in August.

In the first eight months of this year, Taiwan's exports totaled US$202.59 billion, up 12.5 percent from a year earlier.

Despite optimism toward exports for the second half of the year, Liu Meng-chun (劉孟俊), an economist of Chung-hua Institution for Economic Research, said that it is worth staying alert over external factors such as trade disputes between China and the U.S., talks on Brexit, geopolitical unease related to North Korea and the Middle East, as such factors could affect the global economy.

(By Huang Li-yun, Chiu Po-sheng and Frances Huang)
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