Taiwan’s exports last month jumped 34.7 percent year-on-year to a record US$37.95 billion as global demand for tech and non-tech products remained solid, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.
The momentum is expected to continue this month with an estimated gain of 20 to 25 percent, despite a high comparison base last year, Department of Statistics Director-General Beatrice Tsai (蔡美娜) told an online news conference in Taipei.
“We have observed a strong and broad-based pickup of tech and non-tech shipments for quite a while,” Tsai said.
The embrace of digital transformation by global companies and organizations fueled insatiable demand for chips and other electronics, while a warming global economy powered demand for base metal, plastic, chemical and mineral products, Tsai said.
Next-generation smartphones and other consumer electronic gadgets would ramp up business at local component suppliers and push up their selling prices, she said.
Apple Inc is widely expected to release new iPhones and Apple watches next month to capitalize on the back-to-school and Christmas seasons, and rival brands are unlikely to sit on the sidelines.
That would continue to benefit the nation’s exports, although the pace of increase might slow a bit due to a high comparison base this month, Tsai said, adding that the trajectory would not veer off course despite lingering uncertainty.
The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 is spreading worldwide, but US and European authorities have said that they are not planning to consider lockdowns, because many people have been vaccinated.
Shipments to all major trading partners posted double-digit percentage growth, led by a 64 percent surge to Europe, the fastest increase in history, the ministry’s report said.
Exports of optical devices — mainly flat panels and phone camera lenses — lost some steam, but still rose 18.9 percent, although analysts have projected a slowdown.
The low comparison base last year enabled shipments of metal, plastic, chemical and mineral products to report improvements of 40 to 114 percent, while electronics commanded much higher absolute values, Tsai said.
Imports advanced 41 percent year-on-year to US$32.05 billion last month, giving Taiwan a trade surplus of US$5.9 billion for the month, the ministry said.
Imports of agricultural and industrial materials accounted for the majority at 69.8 percent, while local semiconductor firms aggressively acquired capital equipment to expand capacity and ease chip supply crunches, it said.
Imports of semiconductor capital equipment swelled 69 percent to US$2.71 billion, it said.
For the first seven months of the year, cumulative exports expanded 31.5 percent to US$58.72 billion, while imports grew 30.4 percent to US$20.71 billion, it said.
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