August exports grow 3.6% y-o-y, imports dip 1.2%

By John Liu, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan exports expanded 3.6 percent in August year-on-year to US$25.64 billion, while imports declined 1.2 percent to US$21.06 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of US$4.59 billion, according to figures released by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) yesterday. Among export products, electronic product exports amounted to US$7.66 billion, up 6.5 percent year-on-year. It is the sixth consecutive month that exports of electronic products have exceeded US$7.1 billion, according to the MOF’s Statistics Department. Exports of chemical products amounted to US$1.86 billion, up 25.2 percent year-on-year. It was also the third consecutive month of growth. Exports of plastics and rubber products in August amounted to US$2.1 billion, up 8 percent year-on-year, which was the fourth consecutive month of growth. Exports of mineral products, and optical and photographic instruments, however, declined 13.8 percent and 5.4 percent year-on-year respectively.

Exports between January and August totaled US$201.39 billion, up 2.5 percent compared with a year ago.

Electronic products and mineral products have seen the highest growth, followed by electrical machinery products and optical and photographic instruments.

Exports of machineries and basic metal and related products, however, declined during the same period. Imports Figures Imports in August dipped 1.2 percent year-on-year. Among import products, capital equipments amounted to US$2.73 billion, a 7.7-percent drop year-on-year. This reflects slowing investment in the semiconductor industry in July and August, according to MOF Statistics Department Director Yeh Maan-tzwu (葉滿足). Imports of mineral products in August rose 15.4 percent year-on-year, while electronic products, chemical products, basic metal and related products, and machineries decreased 0.3 percent, 2.2 percent, 14.8 percent and 15.5 percent, respectively. From January to August, imports of mineral products, electronic products, chemical products, and basic metal and related products declined 0.9 percent, 0.9 percent, 0.3 percent, 0.8 percent, 7.7 percent, respectively. Imports of machineries grew 0.6 percent. Major Trade Partners Compared with a year ago, exports in August to mainland China and Hong Kong, the U.S., Europe and ASEAN-6 rose by 2.9 percent, 0.9 percent, 4 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, while exports to Japan declined 0.1 percent.

Between January and August, exports to major Asian markets continued to grow, while demand in the European and the U.S. markets have shown signs of improvement, according to the Statistics Department.

Exports to Europe have grown for three consecutive months. For the January-August period, exports to Asian countries rose 4.4 percent, while exports to the U.S. and European markets declined 0.8 percent and 5.6 percent respectively. The Statistics Department said that the global economy is on a recovery track, with China’s extended national holiday in October and western countries’ shopping season coming soon, exports are expected to grow in the near future. However, economic growth in emerging countries has slowed, the MOF added.