Taiwan exports up over 14 percent year-on-year in May

2018/06/08 19:52:34 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, June 8 (CNA) Taiwan's exports rose more than 14 percent from a year earlier in May at a time when global demand continued to grow in the wake of continued economic recovery, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Friday.

The country's outbound sales were boosted by the efforts of international smartphone brands in the Android camp to launch new models, while booming new technologies, such as Internet of Things and automotive electronics applications, also lifted exports, the MOF said.

In May, Taiwan's exports rose 14.2 percent from a year earlier to hit US$29.12 billion, the third highest monthly figure ever, behind only the US$29.99 billion seen in March and US$29.50 billion recorded in December 2017.

The country's imports in May stood at US$24.71 billion, up 12.0 percent from a year earlier with the trade surplus rising by US$960 million from a year earlier to US$4.41 billion in the month, data compiled by the MOF showed.

In the first five months of this year, Taiwan's exports rose 11.2 percent from a year earlier to US$135.58 billion and imports grew 10.0 percent to US$115.26 billion with a trade surplus of US$20.3 billion, up US$3.27 billion year-on-year, the ministry said.

In addition to strong global demand for tech gadgets, Tsai Mei-na (蔡美娜), director of the MOF statistics department, said higher international crude oil prices and rising base metal prices also paved the way for the growth in exports in May.

Under such favorable circumstances, Tsai said, Taiwan's exports posted a double-digit growth in May for the second consecutive month after a 10.0 percent year-on-year increase in April.

The MOF said the electronics component industry continued to drive overall exports, registering a 15.9 percent year-on-year increase in exports valued at US$9.0 billion, which accounted for 30.9 percent of Taiwan's total exports.

In the electronics industry, semiconductor firms posted US$7.73 billion in exports, up 16.5 percent from a year earlier, the MOF added.

Outbound sales of base metals totaled US$3.03 billion, up 17.7 percent, while exports of plastic/rubber items gained 19.2 percent from a year earlier to reach US$2.33 billion, the MOF data showed.

In addition, machinery exports grew 17.0 percent from a year earlier to US$2.55 billion in May, while chemical exports also increased 20.7 percent from a year earlier, rising to US$1.91 billion, the data indicated.

The MOF said China/Hong Kong remained the largest buyer of Taiwan's goods in May, accounting for 40.7 percent of total exports. The value stood at US$11.86 billion, up 19.3 percent from a year earlier, the MOF added.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations came second after buying US$5.06 billion worth of goods from Taiwan in May, making up 17.4 percent of the total, an increase of 10.6 percent from a year earlier, the MOF said.

Taiwan's exports to the U.S. market rose 13.5 percent from a year earlier to US$3.63 billion, while exports to Europe and Japan hit US$2.84 billion and US$1.88 billion, respectively, up 9.0 percent and 16.5 percent from a year earlier, the MOF added.

Tsai said exports in June are forecast to grow 5-7 percent from a year earlier, the slower growth largely reflecting the reduced number of working days due to the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival holiday.

(By Tsai Yi-chu and Frances Huang)

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