Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) Taiwan's exports rose for an eighth consecutive month on an annual basis in October because of continued solid global demand, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Tuesday.
Taiwan's October exports rose 7.3 percent from a year earlier to US$29.57 billion, MOF figures showed.
In addition to the launch of new gadgets by international brands in October, Taiwan's outbound sales were also boosted by more working days during the month this year than last year, the MOF said.
October was the eighth consecutive month and 24th in 25 months in which exports grew on an annual basis.
The only month in which exports posted a decline during that period was February 2018, when exports fell 1.2 percent year-on-year because of a reduced number of business days caused by a long Lunar New Year holiday.
Imports rose 17.6 percent from a year earlier to US$26.21 billion in October, leaving a trade surplus of US$3.36 billion, down 36.2 percent year-on-year, the MOF said.
In the first 10 months of the year, exports were up 8.0 percent from a year earlier to US$279.66 billion, while imports posted on increase of 12.5 percent to US$239.61 billion.
That resulted in a trade surplus of US$40.05 billion, down 12.9 percent year-on-year, the MOF said.
Looking ahead, Taiwan's exports for November should stay little changed from year earlier or rise by up to 2 percent due to a relatively high comparison base last year, the MOF said.
Exports of the electronic components sector totaled US$10.11 billion in October, up 1.0 percent from a year earlier, and accounted for 34.2 percent of total exports during the month.
Within the sector, semiconductor exports rose 1.6 percent from a year earlier to US$8.82 billion due to a wider range of tech applications, the MOF said, while exports of information/communication and video/audio devices also rose 8.5 percent to NT$3.18 billion, the data showed.
With crude oil prices still high, exports of chemical and plastics items rose 24.4 percent and 11.5 percent, respectively, from a year earlier to US$2.04 billion and US$2.18 billion, the data showed.
Exports of mineral products, base metals and machinery rose 52.3 percent, 14.2 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively, from a year earlier to US$1.32 billion, US$2.69 billion and US$2.28 billion in October, the MOF said.
Bucking the upturn, exports of optoelectronics gadgets fell 0.6 percent from a year earlier to US$1.05 billion in October, the MOF said.
China and Hong Kong remained the largest buyers of Taiwanese exports in October, with a combined value of US$12.57 billion, accounting for 42.5 percent of Taiwan's total exports and up 5.5 percent from a year earlier, MOF figures showed.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations came in second, buying about US$5.16 billion in goods from Taiwan in October, up 4.3 percent from a year earlier, the MOF said.
Taiwan's exports to the U.S. rose 10.4 percent from a year earlier to US$3.39 billion in October, while exports to Europe and Japan hit US$2.63 billion and US$2.03 billion, respectively, up 8.5 percent and 18.0 percent from a year earlier, the MOF said.