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Taiwan's 2017 export orders hit new high (update)

2018/01/22 22:35:57

Taipei, Jan. 22 (CNA) Taiwan's export orders in 2017 hit a new high after orders received by Taiwan-based companies in December posted year-on-year gains for the 17th consecutive month, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Monday.

Riding the wave of solid global demand, Taiwan's export orders totaled US$492.81 billion in 2017, smashing the previous record of US$472.81 billion set in 2014, the MOEA said.

The 2017 figure was also up US$48.27 billion, or 10.9 percent, from a year earlier, data compiled by the ministry showed.

The year-on-year growth for 2017 was the highest since 2010, when export order growth hit 26.1 percent after global demand rebounded sharply following the worldwide financial crisis, the ministry added.

In December alone, orders received by Taiwanese exporters rose 17.5 percent from a year earlier to US$48.47 billion, according to the data.

On a month-on-month basis, Taiwan's export orders for December fell 0.4 percent, but were said to rise 3.3 percent after seasonal adjustments, the data showed.

Last month, most major industries in Taiwan, except for the optoelectronics industry, posted double-digit year-on-year gains in orders, said Lin Li-chen (林麗貞), director of the MOEA's Department of Statistics, at a news conference.

Export orders for information/communications devices made by Taiwanese companies totaled US$15.90 billion in December, up 22.3 percent from a year earlier.

The numbers were boosted by deferred orders placed by international mobile brands from November but hurt by a slowdown in notebook computer orders, the MOEA said.

Orders received by Taiwanese electronics component makers rose 18.4 percent from a month earlier to US$12.65 billion, with demand for high performance computing, automotive electronics, the Internet of Things, gaming PCs and gaming consoles pushing up sales of wafer foundries, IC design houses and printed circuit boards.

Export orders for optoelectronics devices from Taiwan grew only 1.7 percent year-on-year in December to US$2.19 billion as prices for large-sized TV panels fell and ongoing adjustments in the TV screen sector capped growth, the MOEA said.

Meanwhile, base metal export orders received by Taiwanese firms totaled US$2.54 billion in December, up 16.3 percent from a year earlier due to rising demand for steel products, which boosted steel product prices, the MOEA said.

Taiwan's overseas orders for machinery in December rose 20.6 percent from a year earlier to US$2.17 billion because of growing demand for semiconductor and automation equipment, while plastics/rubber export orders rose 15.1 percent from a year earlier to US$2.08 billion on higher international crude prices, the MOEA said.

The MOEA said chemical export orders rose 21.7 percent in December hit US$2.11 billion, also due to higher crude oil prices leading to more expensive petrochemical items.

Orders from the United States in December rose 10.2 percent from a year earlier to US$13.2 billion, the most of any market, followed by Europe with orders of US$12.01 billion, up 39.3 percent year-on-year, the MOEA said.

China/Hong Kong was next with US$10.97 billion in orders to Taiwan, up 7.9 percent from a year earlier, followed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at US$4.5 billion and Japan at US$2.53 billion.

Lin said Taiwanese high-tech firms are facing their traditional slow season in January, but new applications could help offset the impact of slow season effects, while the old economy sector is expected to continue to enjoy growing demand in the global market.

She said export orders for January are expected to range between US$45 billion and US$46 billion, up 25.1-27.9 percent from a year earlier because of a relatively low base of comparison due to fewer business days caused by the Lunar New Year holiday.

(By Liao Yu-yang and Frances Huang)
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