Taiwan's exports grow for 20th straight month in February

03/08/2022 11:26 PM
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CNA photo March 8, 2022
CNA photo March 8, 2022

Taipei, March 8 (CNA) Taiwan's exports grew for a 20th consecutive month in February, up more than 34 percent from a year earlier, on the back of increasing global demand amid an economic recovery, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Tuesday.

Data compiled by the MOF tallied the country's exports for February at US$37.45 billion, up 34.8 percent from a year earlier, the fastest ever growth over the same period, but down 6.3 percent from a month earlier.

The latest export data marked the 20th straight month of year-on-year growth, the second longest ever after a 26 month period following the global financial crisis of 2009, according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's imports in February rose 35.3 percent from a year earlier to US$31.64 billion with a trade surplus of US$5.81 billion, an increase of US$1.40 billion from a year earlier.

In the first two months of this year, the country's exports hit US$77.43 billion, up 24.8 percent from a year earlier.

Imports reached US$66.70 billion, up 29.4 percent from a year earlier, with the trade surplus rising by US$210 million to US$10.73 billion, the MOF said.

Although exports for February were down compared with the previous month, the data is the strongest ever for the month when Taiwan celebrated the Lunar New Year and marked the 228 Memorial Day, MOF statistics chief Beatrice Tsai (蔡美娜) said at a press conference.

Tsai said the strong export data for February can be attributed to five main factors, including exponentially increased global demand amid an economic recovery following the relaxation of COVID-19 lockdown measures in many countries.

The soaring cost of raw materials caused by rising crude oil rates amid the Ukraine crisis could also be prompting customers to stock up on raw material items, she added.

Tsai also attributed the robust exports to increasing demand for chips driven by booming demand for emerging tech applications, the reduced effects of raw material shortages and soaring export prices.

Among the major 11 export product items in February, only optoelectronics posted a fall in exports, dropping by 3.7 percent from a year earlier, to US$960 million.

The electronic components industry posted US$15.73 billion in exports, up 46.5 percent from a year earlier, marking the 34th consecutive month of growth.

Semiconductor suppliers sold US$14.50 billion worth of goods overseas, up 48.9 percent from a year earlier, according to the MOF.

China and Hong Kong continued to serve as the largest buyers of Taiwan's goods in February, purchasing US$15.76 billion in merchandise from Taiwanese suppliers, up 39.9 percent from a year earlier and accounting for 42.1 percent of total exports, the MOF said.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc came in second, buying US$6.36 billion in goods from Taiwan, up 34.6 percent, followed by the United States, which bought US$5.49 billion, up 40.3 percent, the MOF said.

Looking ahead, Tsai said, as March has eight more work days than February, the country's exports for the month could range from US$41.2 billion to US$43.0 billion, up 15-20 percent from a year earlier and likely to break the record US$41.58 billion set in November 2021.

(By Chang Ai and Evelyn Kao)

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