Taipei, Sept. 20 (CNA) Export orders received by Taiwan-based companies fell for the 10th consecutive month in August, due mainly to weak global demand for many of the island's traditional commodities such as machinery, base metal, and plastics/rubber items, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Friday.
Export orders in August fell 8.3 percent from the same month a year earlier to US$40.05 billion, according to data compiled by the ministry's Department of Statistics.
On a month-on-month basis, the country's export orders fell 1.2 percent and after inflationary adjustment, it dropped 2.5 percent, the data showed.
Taiwan's exporters saw orders drop in August mainly due to ongoing trade tensions between the United States and China, which have created economic uncertainty resulting in weaker global demand, the ministry said.
According to the MOEA, items such as chemicals, plastics and rubber, base metals, machineries, and information and communication products have seen a month-on-month decline in export orders.
Among them, machinery equipment saw the sharpest decline, with a 26.3 percent drop compared with the same month last year.
In the first half of this year, the country relied mostly on the information and communication sector to help sustain its export performance, the ministry said, but added that the sector also began showing signs of weakening since July.
In July, export orders for telecommunication products dropped 3.2 percent year-on-year, and in August the drop was widened to 9.7 percent when compared with the same month last year.
Huang Yu-ling (黃于玲), head of the MOEA's statistics department, said it was still too early to tell if the fall in demand in such items would continue in the second half of the year.
Smartphone manufacturers are still watching to see how well their new phones are doing on the market before placing more orders to meet demand, Huang said.
Based on past observations, the demand could begin to pick up in September, she added.
In terms of Taiwan's overall export performance, Huang said the momentum for export orders is expected to increase in the second half of this year, a traditional peak season for many exporters.
Coupled with increasing demand for Taiwanese products in emerging markets, Huang said there was a chance Taiwan could see export growth turn positive in December.