IC exports set monthly record high in January

02/27/2021 05:55 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 27 (CNA) Taiwan's outbound sales of integrated circuits (IC) in January hit a new monthly record high on the back of strong global demand, according to the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

Although the first quarter is traditionally a slow season for the semiconductor industry, emerging applications such as 5G, high performance computing, automotive electronics and the Internet of Things helped Taiwanese IC suppliers overcome unfavorable factors, the ministry said.

As a result, Taiwan's IC exports in January stood at US$11.9 billion, up 46.3 percent from a year earlier, data compiled by the MOF showed.

The momentum has carried over from 2020, when Taiwan's semiconductor industry shrugged off the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and registered US$122.5 billion in exports, up 22.1 percent from a year earlier. The MOF said.

Demand for Taiwan's semiconductors from major markets such as China/Hong Kong, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc, Japan and South Korea remained strong in January as it was a year earlier, according to the ministry.

The semiconductor industry has become the main driver to Taiwan's export growth over the past decade, the MOF said.

From 2011-2020, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of Taiwan's exports stood at 1.1 percent, while the CAGR for semiconductor exports and information/communications and video/audio devices hit 3.3 percent and 9 percent, respectively, the ministry said.

Without the semiconductor industry, the CAGR for Taiwan's outbound sales in that period would have been minus 1.5 percent, the MOF added.

China/Hong Kong was the largest buyer of Taiwan's ICs, accounting for more than 50 percent of total semiconductor exports in the past decade. In 2020, the ratio topped 60 percent, according to the ministry.

China's strong demand for Taiwan's ICs is because the country is a hub for many brands. It is also where they assemble their tech gadgets and those brands are keen to build up semiconductor inventories for production.

In addition, before the sanctions imposed by the United States on Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co. amid trade tensions between Washington and Beijing went into effect on Sept. 15, buyers in China rushed to purchase ICs from Taiwan, the MOF said.

(By Hsieh Fang-wu and Frances Huang)


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