Export orders return to growth on solid demand for electronics

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Taipei, Sep 20 (CNA) Taiwan’s export orders returned to year-on-year growth in August as strong demand for electronic gadgets offset weakness seen in old-economy industries in a time of skyrocketing inflation and rate hikes by major central banks around the world. , the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) announced on Tuesday.

Data compiled by the MOEA showed the country recorded its highest ever export orders in August at $54.59 billion, up 2% from a year earlier, reversing a down 1.9% year-on-year in July.

On a month-to-month basis, Taiwan’s export orders rose 0.6 percent, the data showed, and after seasonal adjustments the figure also rose 1.6 percent.

In the first eight months of this year, export orders received by Taiwanese exporters rose 7.0 percent from a year earlier to $448.14 billion, according to the MOEA.

The strong performance of the electronic components industry served as an anchor for Taiwan’s export orders for August to recover from the previous month’s weakness, while major industries in the old economy saw a double-digit decline in the month due to weakening demand, the ministry added.

In August, the electronic components industry received $19.04 billion in export orders, up 15.4 percent from a year earlier, the MOEA said.

The ministry attributed the increase to pure wafer foundry operators, memory chip suppliers, printed circuit board manufacturers and IC testing and packaging service providers who benefited from strong demand for the emerging technologies such as 5G applications, high performance computing (HPC) devices and automotive. electronic.

In the information and communications technology sector, export orders for August rose 3.1% from a year earlier to $14.27 billion, brands smartphone markets unveiling new products and demand for digitization and internet communications increasing, increasing business opportunities, according to the MOEA.

The optoelectronics industry, however, bucked the recovery and saw export orders for August fall 36.5% from a year earlier to NT$1.75 billion following the drop demand for televisions and laptops, the ministry said.

He added that flat panel suppliers to the optoelectronics industry were also suffering from weak pricing power due to inventory adjustments at their customers.

Old-economy industries have been most affected by downside risks to the global economy, according to the MOEA, as the world’s major central banks raised key interest to fight inflation.

In August, export orders received by the base metals industry fell 22.6% from a year earlier to NT$2.38 billion, mainly due to the decline in global demand for steel products, while export orders taken by the machinery industry fell 15.2% to $1.91 billion, as many manufacturers became cautious about investments in equipment, the MOEA said.

The plastics/rubber industry saw its export orders fall 25.3% from a year earlier to US$1.94 billion due to inventory adjustments, while the he chemical industry also suffered from weak demand and recorded a 13.0% year-on-year decline in August, with export orders totaling the United States. $1.75 billion, according to the ministry.

Looking ahead, the MOEA said the uncertainty created by rising inflation, the ongoing rate hike cycle, China’s zero-tolerance policy on COVID-19, and geopolitical tensions resulting from Russia’s war against Ukraine should continue to have an impact on global demand.

In addition, a relatively high comparable basis over the same period last year could also hurt growth in September, the MOEA said.

The MOEA expects Taiwan to see a 7.0% to 9.4% year-on-year drop in export orders in September, with total exports expected to be between $57 billion and $58.5 billion.

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