Taipei, April 14 (CNA) Taiwan's rankings in global merchandise exports and imports for 2011 both fell one notch from a year earlier, the Bureau of Foreign Trade cited statistics compiled by the World Trade Organization (WTO) as saying Saturday.
According to the bureau, Taiwan ranked the world's 17th largest merchandise exporter in 2011, down from the 16th position recorded a year earlier.
Despite the fall in ranking, the bureau said, Taiwan's merchandise export value for 2011 totaled US$308 billion (NT$9.09 trillion), up 12 percent from a year earlier, while the island accounted for 1.7 percent of the total merchandise exports in the world, down 1.8 percent recorded a year ago.
The bureau said Taiwan took the title as the 18th largest merchandise importer in the world market for 2011, down from the 17th position registered a year earlier, after the island bought a total of US$281 billion in merchandise, up 12 percent year-on-year.
Despite the growth in imports, Taiwan accounted for 1.5 percent of the world's total merchandise imports, down from 1.6 percent recorded a year earlier, the bureau said.
The bureau said the declines in the rankings of merchandise exports and imports reflected the fluctuations in raw material and crude oil prices in the world market.
Based on the WTO statistics, China ranked the largest merchandise exporter in the world, ahead of the United States, Germany and Japan, while the U.S. ranked the world's largest merchandise importer that year, followed by China and Germany and Japan.
In terms of merchandise trade, Taiwan's number ranked the world's 18th highest for 2011, unchanged from 2010, the bureau said, adding Taiwan's strength in the world market appeared little changed.
Meanwhile, the bureau said Taiwan ranked the world's 24th largest commercial services exporter for 2011, unchanged from a year earlier, with commercial service export value totaling US$46 billion, accounting for 1.1 percent of the world's total export value.
The island's imports of commercial services totaled US$41 billion in 2011, helping it retain the world's 28th largest importer title, the bureau said, adding the 2011 commercial services import value accounted for 1.1 percent of the global total.
The U.S. ranked the world's largest commercial service exporter last year, ahead of the United Kingdom, Germany and China, while the U.S. also grasped the world's largest commercial services importer title, followed by Germany, China and the U.K., according to the WTO statistics.
(By Huang Chiao-wen and Frances Huang)