Export orders grew for a 16th straight month annually to US$53.75 billion last month, the Ministry of Economic Affairs reported yesterday.
The figure was up 2.8 percent from May and 31.1 percent from a year earlier, it added.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, robust global demand for tech products and high commodity prices made last month’s orders the strongest June level on record, Department of Statistics Director Huang Yu-ling (黃于玲) told a news conference in Taipei.
For the second quarter, export orders reached US$160.96 billion, up 8 percent from the first quarter and 35.9 percent from a year earlier. That brought orders for the first half of the year to US$309.92 billion, an annual increase of 39.2 percent, the highest for the same period on record, the ministry said.
“The stay-at-home economy has not abated,” Huang said. “The demand for laptops, graphic cards and storage devices remains strong.”
Orders for information and communications technology products grew 6.9 percent year-on-year to US$13.89 billion last month, and those for electronics items increased 36.5 percent to US$16.79 billion, bolstered by demand for 5G and high-performance computing applications, the ministry said.
Orders for optical products expanded 42.7 percent year-on-year to US$2.74 billion last month, driven by demand from China and Hong Kong, it said.
Taiwanese exporters also benefited from the US and EU infrastructure projects, as base metal orders surged 81.8 percent to US$3.32 billion and orders for mechanical products advanced 40 percent to US$2.26 billion, the ministry said.
Orders for plastics and petrochemicals rose 57.5 percent to US$2.6 billion last month, thanks to rising oil prices and increasing demand, while chemical product orders expanded 43.2 percent to US$1.87 billion, it said.
The US was again the biggest source of export orders, which rose 7.8 percent month-on-month and 24 percent year-on-year to US$16.48 billion, it said.
China followed at US$14.43 billion, up 1.5 percent month-on-month and 36.7 percent year-on-year, and the EU came in third with orders of US$9.28 billion, down 2.5 percent month-on-month, but up 24.3 percent year-on-year.
While the pandemic remains an uncertainty, the steady increase in global vaccinations and a pickup in basic infrastructure projects lend confidence to a recovery, Huang said.
“The pace of global economic recovery is picking up, and we are entering into the second half of the year, the strong season for consumer electronic products,” Huang said. “We can expect export orders to stay strong.”
A recent survey of Taiwanese businesses showed that 20.5 percent expect fewer orders for this month, 19.5 percent expect more orders and 60.1 percent expect orders to be flat, the ministry said.
The ministry forecast export orders for this month of US$52.7 billion to US$54.2 billion, down 1.9 percent to 0.9 percent month-on-month, but up 15.7 to 18.9 percent year-on-year.
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