Taiwan's March export orders set all-time high

04/20/2021 11:09 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, April 20 (CNA) The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) was upbeat on Tuesday about the performance of Taiwan's export sector on the back of an all-time high in export orders for March received by Taiwan-based companies.

Earlier in the day, the MOEA reported that export orders placed with Taiwan-based companies in March grew for the 13th consecutive month to hit a historic high of US$53.66 billion -- the highest value ever for the month.

The figure was 33.3 percent higher than for the same month of the previous year, according to MOEA data.

"A US$50 billion monthly level could be the new norm for Taiwan's export sector in the future," thanks to a global economic recovery that has driven demand for both high-tech devices and traditional products, said the ministry's Department of Statistics Director Huang Yu-ling (黃于玲).

Export orders surpassed the U$50 billion mark in September last year and January this year, and it is forecast that the figure for April will hover in the US$50 billion-US$51.5 billion range, Huang noted.

Meanwhile, the country's export orders in the first three months also set a new high of US$148.97 billion for Q1, up 42.9 percent year on year -- the largest quarterly increase since the second quarter of 2010, MOEA statistics showed.

For the whole of 2020, export orders totaled US$533.6 billion, up 10.1 percent from a year earlier and also a historic high, according to the same tallies.

In terms of industry, exports of electronic goods totaled a record high of US$15.84 billion in March, up by 27.2 percent from a year earlier and representing double-digit growth for 14 months in a row.

Huang attributed the expansion to a broad range of applications resulting from emerging technologies such as 5G and high-performance computing, and a strong demand for smartphones, tablet computers, semiconductor chips and automotive electronics, among others.

In the category of computers/telecommunications equipment, export orders placed with Taiwanese companies also hit a fresh high of US$14.02 billion for the month of March, an annual rise of 21.6 percent, showing continued growth for a sixth consecutive month.

Amid the hot stay-at-home economy, March export orders for audiovisual goods such as TVs and IT panels climbed to US$2.64 billion -- up 45.2 percent from a year earlier and a 10-month rising streak.

In March, outbound shipments of conventional businesses also performed brilliantly, due mainly to the COVID-19 vaccination programs launched across the world, with the basic metals, machinery and plastic/rubber sectors registering double-digit growth ranging from 36.7 percent to 61.8 percent, MOEA tallies indicated.

In terms of countries and areas, the United States, China/Hong Kong and Europe were the leading three buyers of Taiwanese products, primarily electronic goods.

U.S. buyers placed orders worth US$15.65 billion for made-in- Taiwan products last month, up by 33.2 percent year on year, while Chinese/Hong Kong and European buyers ordered US$14.28 billion and US$10.01 billion worth of Taiwanese goods, up by 34.1 percent and 30.4 percent, respectively, from the previous year, the MOEA statistics showed.

In light of these good results, National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said that "they are better than I had expected," adding that the country stands a good chance of registering an economic growth rate higher than 5 percent for 2021.

In February, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics forecast that Taiwan will post a 4.64 percent economic growth rate this year.

Commenting on the current drought facing two-thirds of Taiwan, Kung said the MOEA has devised countermeasures to deal with the situation through the end of June, even if it does not rain in May.

(By Flor Wang and Pan Tzi-yu)

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