Taipei, Aug. 20 (CNA) At a time of escalating trade tension between the United States and China that is affecting global demand, Taiwan reported a year-on-year fall in export orders for the ninth consecutive month in July, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Tuesday.
Data compiled by the MOEA shows that the country's export orders for July fell 3.0 percent from a year earlier to US$40.53 billion, but the decline moderated from a year-on-year fall of 4.5 percent seen in June.
On a month-on-month basis, the country's export orders rose 5.3 percent and after inflationary adjustment, the figure also grew 1.4 percent, the data indicates.
In the first seven months of this year, Taiwan's export orders totaled US$263.39 billion, down 6.0 percent, which provided further evidence of the impact resulting from the trade dispute.
Export orders received by Taiwanese electronic component makers in July fell 1.3 percent from a year earlier to US$10.56 billion as the industries rolling out memory chips and passive components such as chip resistors, inductors and multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCC), continued to undergo inventory adjustments, the MOEA said.
However, solid demand for chips under pure foundry operations and IC design services bucked the downturn on the back of rising shipments of consumer electronic devices, which limited the export order decline for the electronic component industry last month, the MOEA said.
In July, export orders received by the information/communications industry fell 3.2 percent from a year earlier to US$11.11 billion in the wake of weakening demand for notebook computers and servers, the MOEA added.
The local base metal sector saw its export orders falling 16.1 percent from a year earlier to US$2.15 billion in July in reflection of falling steel prices, while the local machinery sector suffered a 19.7 percent year-on-year fall in export orders, which stood at US$1.67 billion as investment in machinery was affected by the Washington-Beijing trade dispute, the MOEA said.
In July, export orders placed with the local plastics/rubber sector totaled US$1.92 billion, down 7.4 percent from a year earlier, as demand was cut by the trade issues, while export orders received by the local chemical sector fell 5.3 percent from a year earlier to US$1.85 billion due to falling crude oil prices, the MOEA added.
Among the major buyers, the United States placed US$11.55 billion in export orders in July, down 1.6 percent from a year earlier, and export orders placed by China and Hong Kong also fell 6.3 percent from a year earlier to US$10.26 billion, the data shows.
Export orders placed by buyers from Europe and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations fell 1.8 percent and 8.1 percent, respectively, from a year earlier to US$7.54 billion and US$3.8 billion, while export orders from Japan rose 0.7 percent to US$2.58 billion, the data indicates.
Huang Yu-ling (黃于玲), head of the MOEA's statistics department, said the momentum of export orders is expected to increase in the second half of this year, a traditional peak season for many exporters, but it remains to be seen when export orders will return to a year-on-year growth pattern amid the global trade issues.