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Taiwan January export orders rise in AI demand

02/27/2024 09:53 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 27 (CNA) The value of export orders received by Taiwanese companies in January grew 1.9 percent to US$48.42 billion, due mainly to strong demand for artificial intelligence (AI) applications and an uptick in stockpiling ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Tuesday.

Growth in January was higher than the MOEA forecast, which had expected the figure to fall between 15.8 percent and 20 percent, rebounding from a 16.0 percent decline in December.

On a month-on-month basis, January export orders increased 10.5 percent, and after seasonal adjustments, the January figure also surged 18.3 percent, data compiled by the MOEA showed.

The high-than-expected export orders in January were boosted by robust demand for AI devices and high-performance computing (HPC) solutions, MOEA Department of Statistics Director Huang Yu-ling (黃于玲) said.

In January, orders placed with the information and communications technology and electronics industries increased most from a month earlier, with 13.3 percent and 16.9 percent growth, respectively, according to Huang.

Among major product categories, other than orders placed for ICT products, which posted a 19.3 percent decline year-on-year in January, most industries saw orders increases by 6.8 percent to 25.5 percent from a year earlier.

The electronics industry received US$17.45 billion in export orders, up 16.1 percent from a year earlier, benefiting from continuing robust markets for HPC and AI, the MOEA said.

The optoelectronics equipment industry generated US$1.58 billion in export orders, up 24.0 percent from a year earlier on the back of high flat panel prices and an increase in camera lens and backlight modules orders, the MOEA said.

However, looking ahead, the ministry said it expects export orders in January and February to drop about 10 percent year-on-year.

In February, export orders are expected to fall between 11 percent and 15.7 percent from a year earlier to between US$35.5 billion and US$37.5 billion.

In March, a decline in export orders is also expected though the fall will moderate, Huang said, adding that the possibility of an uptick cannot be ruled out.

Huang cited factors favorable to the growth of Taiwan's export-oriented economy including the International Monetary Fund forecast for global trade growth of 3.3 percent in 2024, robust AI demand as well as healthy year-on-year growth of 10-20 percent projected for the global semiconductor industry this year.

(By Liu Chien-ling and Evelyn Kao)

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