TAIPEI（CNA）— As global trade disputes have continued to affect demand, Taiwan, an export-oriented economy, saw its export orders falling year-on-year for the 12th consecutive month in October, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Wednesday.
Data compiled by the ministry shows that the country’s export orders fell 3.5 percent from a year earlier to US$47.28 billion after a year-on-year decline of 4.9 percent in September.
On a month-on-month basis, however, export orders rose 3.9 percent on the back of the peak-season effect in the global electronics industry, and after seasonal adjustments, also grew 0.8 percent, the data shows.
In October, almost all of the major industries in Taiwan suffered a year-on-year drop in export orders, with the exception of the electronic component industry, which posted a new high of US$12.95 billion in export orders, up 1.7 percent from a year earlier and up 4.7 percent from a month earlier, the MOEA said.
In the electronic component industry, the MOEA said, pure wafer foundry operators benefited from rising demand for 5G applications and high-performance computing devices in October, while the growth was capped by falling prices of memory chips and passive components such as chip resistors, inductors and multi-layer ceramic capacitors, the MOEA added.
Export orders secured by the information and communications industry fell 0.2 percent from a year earlier to US$16.31 billion in October, as a relatively high comparison base over the same period of last year offset the peak season effect, the data shows.
Export orders secured by the base metal, machinery, plastics/rubber, and chemical product industries suffered double-digit declines from a year earlier, down 14.8 percent, 10.3 percent, 13.3 percent and 24.2 percent, respectively, to US$2.10 billion, US$1.65 billion, US$1.81 billion and US$1.62 billion in October, the data indicates.
The U.S. placed the largest amount of orders with Taiwan’s exporters in October at US$14.48 billion, down 3.0 percent from a year earlier, followed by China and Hong Kong (US$10.63 billion, down 7.3 percent), Europe (US$11.46 billion, up 5.1 percent), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc (US$3.83 billion, down 5.9 percent), and Japan (US$2.32 billion, down 15.1 percent), the MOEA said.
In the first 10 months of this year, Taiwan’s export orders stood at NT$396.24 billion, down 5.8 percent from a year earlier.
Huang Yu-ling (黃于玲), head of the MOEA’s statistics department, told reporters that the global trade issues between Washington and Beijing are expected to continue to impact demand, so it is possible that Taiwan will report US$46 billion-US$47 billion in export orders, down 1.4 percent-3.5 percent in November from a year earlier.
As for December, Huang said, due to a relatively low comparison base over the same period of last month and a year-end buying spree in the U.S and European markets, Taiwan’s export orders could return to a growth pattern.
Still, it is unlikely that the country will report a year-on-year increase in export orders for the whole of 2019, Huang said.