Exports from Taiwan hit new quarterly high in April-June

07/08/2022 11:08 PM
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CNA photo July 8, 2022
CNA photo July 8, 2022

Taipei, July 8 (CNA) Exports from Taiwan hit a record high US$125.75 billion in the second quarter of 2022, growing 15.4 percent year-over-year on the back of strong demand for semiconductors for autos and advanced technologies, the Ministry of Finance said Friday.

The preliminary statistics were released along with the June export data, which showed Taiwan shipped US$42.2 billion worth of goods, a 15.2 percent year-over-year rise, and the 24th consecutive month of growth.

The June figures also pushed the total exports for the first six months of 2022 to US$246.68 billion, a 19.2 percent increase from the same period last year, the ministry said.

Goods that see growth

Exports of electric components hit a record high US$17.27 billion in June, up 19 percent from May, with shipments of integrated circuits accounting for US$15.957 billion.

This strong performance was driven by sustained demand for computer chips used in automobiles and high-performance computing, according to the ministry.

Demand in this sector also boosted exports of basic metals and their products to US$3.48 billion, transportation-related goods such as car and bicycle components to US$1.52 billion, and information, communication video and audio products to US$5.37 billion, the ministry said.

Exports of minerals -- especially diesel, gasoline, and aviation fuels -- jumped 106.1 percent to reach US$1.11 billion, the ministry noted, citing a supply crunch in global oil markets.

Beatrice Tsai (蔡美娜), head of the ministry's Department of Statistics, told reporters that the June export figures were quite impressive considering Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the global inflationary pressures, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Underperformer

Products that saw year-over-year export declines in June included optoelectronics equipment, which fell 25.7 percent to US$834 million.

It was the eighth consecutive dip in monthly exports for the sector, with Tsai pointing to weak demand for consumer electronics as a factor in the continued decline.

The textiles sector also reported a decline in exports for June, as buyers turned more cautious amid worries inflation could squeeze consumers' buying power, Tsai said.

Top destinations

In terms of export destinations, China (including Hong Kong) remained the most popular market for Taiwanese goods at US$15.43 billion, down 4.5 percent from May, according to the ministry.

The 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc came in second, with exports to the region growing 27.2 percent month-over-month to US$7.39 billion.

The United States sat third, with exports rising 27.9 percent month-over-month to US$6.93 billion, while Europe sat fourth at US$3.495 billion, representing a 25.1 percent increase on May.

Japan was fifth with US$3.064 billion, up 35.3 percent from May and the first time monthly exports to the country exceeded US$3 billion.

Imports, outlooks

As for imports, electric components accounted for the largest part of shipments to Taiwan in June, rising 19.5 percent to US$8.829 billion from a month earlier, according to the ministry.

Mineral imports -- of which crude oil accounted for a third -- saw the biggest increase in June, surging by 57.4 percent month-over-month to US$6.989 billion, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, imports of consumer goods rose 15.9 percent from May to US$4.198 billion in June.

Looking ahead, the ministry said the gradual lifting of COVID-19-related restrictions would have a positive impact on global trade, adding that the outlook for the high-performance computing, internet of things, and automobile electronics sectors remained upbeat.

The expansion of semiconductor manufacturers' advanced production facilities and the upcoming peak season for exporters is expected to maintain Taiwan's exports for the second half of the year, the ministry said.

It added that the Russia-Ukraine conflict, growing inflationary pressures, COVID-19, and supply chain issues remained likely to impact the global economy, and thus required close monitoring.

(By Chang Ai and Kay Liu)

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