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Export orders drop for 6th straight month in April

2019/05/20 18:16:27

Taipei, May 20 (CNA) Export orders received by Taiwan-based companies fell for the sixth consecutive month in April because of growing trade friction between the United States and China and slower global economic growth, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Monday.

The export orders booked in April fell 3.7 percent from a year earlier to US$37.66 billion, after a 9 percent year-on-year fall in March, according to data compiled by the MOEA.

In the first four months of the year, export orders were down 7.2 percent from a year earlier to US$145.64 billion, the data showed.

In April, export orders for information/communication devices rose 3.3 percent from a year earlier to US$10.53 billion as international smartphone and notebook brands and Internet communications products reported increased shipments, the MOEA said.

Export orders for base metals fell 9.4 percent from a year earlier, however, to US$2.19 billion due mainly to weak demand caused by increased U.S. tariffs that prompted European Union countermeasures.

The United States remained the biggest source of export orders to Taiwan in April, placing US$10.25 billion in orders with Taiwan-based companies, down 6.0 percent year-on-year, according to the MOEA.

Export orders from China/Hong Kong fell 9.9 percent from a year earlier to US$9.51 billion.

But export orders from Europe were up 5.5 percent year-on-year to US$7.67 billion, according to the MOEA data.

Orders from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations dropped 11.4 percent from a year earlier to US$3.46 billion in April, but exports placed by Japanese buyers were up 4.4 percent year-on-year to US$2.20 billion.

The MOEA said prospects for export orders are likely to remain dim in the near future because of the uncertainty created by U.S.-China trade tensions and the lack of momentum in the electronics industry in the first half of the year.

(By Tsai Peng-min and Evelyn Kao)