Taiwan exports grow for 14th straight month in August to record high

09/07/2021 08:21 PM
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CNA file photo
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Taipei, Sept. 7 (CNA) Taiwan's exports hit a new monthly high in August, marking the 14th consecutive month of year-on-year growth, driven by solid demand for tech items and raw materials, the Ministry of Finance said (MOF) Tuesday.

MOF data showed Taiwan's exports for August totaled US$39.55 billion, up 26.9 percent from a year earlier, after a 34.7 percent year-on-year increase in July.

Imports also rose to a record US$36.08 billion in August, up 46.3 percent from a year earlier, with the trade surplus falling US$3.02 billion from the previous year to US$3.48 billion, the data indicated.

In the first eight months of 2021, Taiwan's outbound sales rose 30.9 percent from a year earlier to US$284.42 billion, and imports grew 32.5 percent to US$243.21 billion, with a US$7.44 billion year-on-year increase of the trade surplus to US$41.21 billion, according to the data.

Beatrice Tsai (蔡美娜), head of the MOF's Department of Statistics, said demand continued to grow in August amid a recovery of the global economy. Taiwan's exports were boosted by high demand for emerging technologies and digital gadgets and by higher product prices in the domestic electronics sector, she said.

In August, strong semiconductor sales paved the way for a 21.9 percent year-on-year increase in exports in Taiwan's electronics component industry, which rose to record monthly high of US$15.22 billion, accounting for 38.5 percent of the country's total outbound sales, the MOF said.

The information and communications industry reported a 17.2 percent year-on-year increase in exports to a record US$5.4 billion in August, driven by the growing popularity of devices such as computer peripherals and routers, the ministry said.

In the old economy sector, base metal suppliers saw record monthly exports of US$3.25 billion in August, up 50.3 percent from a year earlier, while the outbound sales of machinery exporters rose 39.6 percent year-on-year to a new high of US$2.51 billion, according to the MOF.

It said China and Hong Kong remained the largest buyers of Taiwan products, purchasing a monthly record US$16.77 billion worth in August, which accounted for 42.4 percent of Taiwan's total exports and was a 16.1 percent increase from a year earlier.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc was the second largest buyer of Taiwan merchandise in August, purchasing US$6.08 billion worth in August, 32.2 percent higher than a year earlier, followed by the United States (US$5.99 billion), Europe (US$3.45 billion), and Japan (US$2.51 billion), the MOF said.

Looking ahead, Tsai said that although the spread of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is creating uncertainty about the global economy, demand for semiconductors, base metals and plastics is expected to remain solid.

As a result, the growth of Taiwan's exports is likely to continue, she said, estimating a 23-27 percent year-on-year increase in September to between US$37.8 billion and US$39 billion.

(By Wu Chia-jung and Frances Huang)

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