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Taiwan's exports drop for 9th consecutive month in May

06/07/2023 08:57 PM
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CNA photo on June 7, 2023
CNA photo on June 7, 2023

Taipei, June 7 (CNA) Taiwanese exporters are continuing to feel the pinch after exports fell for the ninth consecutive month in May, in part because of low demand from China amid its slow road to economic recovery, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Wednesday.

Exports last month were down 14.1 percent from a year earlier to US$36.13 billion, and imports slid 21.7 percent year-on-year to US$31.25 billion, leaving a trade surplus of US$4.89 billion, up 130.4 percent from last year, MOF data showed.

In the first five months of 2023, Taiwan's exports were down 16.9 percent from a year earlier to US$169.81 billion, and imports slid 18.0 percent to US$149.31 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of US$20.50 billion, which is an 8.4 percent drop, according to the data.

Beatrice Tsai (蔡美娜), director-general of the MOF's Department of Statistics, said the year-on-year fall in exports in May can be attributed to the negative effects of global inflation, interest rate hikes, sluggish consumer demand, and China's slow recovery in its post COVID-19 era, as well as inventory adjustments in companies' supply chains.

One of Taiwan's major export sectors, electronic components, fell 9.9 percent in May from the previous year to US$15.05 billion, falling for the seventh consecutive month, with semiconductor exports down 8 percent, according to the data.

The information and communications and video and audio industries were the only sector that saw an increase in exports in May, registering a 11.9 percent year-on-year rise to US$5.8 billion, mainly driven by an increase in shipments of computer parts and accessories, according to the ministry.

In May, exports to China and Hong Kong, and ASEAN countries significantly dropped, falling 19.4 percent and 16.9 percent, respectively, from a year earlier to US$12.74 billion and US$6.10 billion.

China and Hong Kong accounted for 35.3 percent of Taiwan's total exports in May, according to MOF data.

Meanwhile, exports to the U.S. were also down, falling 3.5 percent from a year earlier to US$6.6 billion.

However, Japan imported around US$3.06 billion worth of goods from Taiwan in May, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, mainly due to strong demand for semiconductors. Exports to European markets also rose 2.4 percent in May to US$ 3.69 billion, according to the data.

(By Chang Ai and Evelyn Kao)


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