Taiwan exports down 4.6% year-on-year in September

10/07/2019 09:17 PM
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Taipei, Oct. 7 (CNA) Taiwan's exports in September fell 4.6 percent from a year earlier, reversing 2.8 percent growth in August, because of a struggling global economy hurt by the trade war between China and the United States, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Monday.

Taiwan's exports in September totaled US$28.10 billion, down 4.6 percent year-on-year, while imports hit US$24.97 billion, down 0.6 percent, leaving a trade surplus of US$3.13 billion, MOF statistics showed.

On a month-on-month basis, exports in September were also down 2.4 percent from August, the data showed.

Speaking at a news conference, Department of Statistics Director-General Beatrice Tsai (蔡美娜) attributed September's negative export growth to the ongoing trade spat between Beijing and Washington, which has eroded global economic momentum.

The high comparison baseline set in September 2018 also helped more than offset such positive factors as the arrival of the peak season for consumer electronics and the return of overseas Taiwanese businesses to manufacture goods in Taiwan to avoid U.S. tariffs on Chinese-made goods.

In the third quarter, Taiwan's exports were down 0.8 percent from a year earlier to US$85.03 billion, and imports were down 3.2 percent to US$72.26 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of US$12.78 billion, up 15.1 percent year-on-year, the MOF said.

In the first nine months, Taiwan's exports fell 2.5 percent from a year earlier to US$242.30 billion and imports also fell 1.2 percent to US$209.56 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of US$32.73 billion, down 10.4 percent from a year earlier, the figures showed.

A ministry official said Taiwan's exports in October are expected to show negative growth again because of the relatively high comparison base set in October 2018, when exports totaled US$29.55 billion, the third highest single-month figure ever.

But the official expected exports to move into positive territory in November or December.

(By Wu Chia-jung and Evelyn Kao)


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