Taiwan exports orders beat forecast as tech sector
growth picks up
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[May 21, 2018]
By Roger Tung
TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan's export orders
growth beat forecasts in April, as the island's technology sector
recovered from a weak first quarter, with goods such as auto electronics
driving growth although communications products remained a soft patch.
Orders for the trade-reliant economy rose 9.8 percent to $39.1 billion
from the same period a year earlier, data from the Ministry of Economic
Affairs showed on Monday. That was stronger than more modest growth of
3.1 percent in March and higher than the median forecast of 8.85 percent
growth for April in a Reuters poll.
From the previous month, export orders declined 7.7 percent.
The overall on-year growth was driven by a 12.1 percent increase in
electronics orders and an 18.6 percent increase in machinery orders.
Information and communications products, which includes smartphones and
PCs, declined 0.3 percent.
The ministry said in a statement orders for information and
communications products were hit by "the weak season for smartphones and
computers, and weak market demand".
However, economists said strong growth in traditional industries outside
of technology offset some of the weakness in the information and
"If you look at the breakdown, the electronics exports in addition to
the traditional export orders, for example base metals and plastic
products and machinery, all grew by double digits," said Betty Wang, an
economist at ANZ in Hong Kong.
"I think that helped to offset weakness in the ICT sector which still
contracted for the third consecutive month," she said.
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People fish in front of an Orient Overseas Container Line container
ship, at Kaohsiung Port, Taiwan August 7, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File
Looking to May, the ministry said it projects the on-month change in value of
export orders to range between a 0.3 percent contraction to 2.3 percent growth.
Orders from the United States, where Apple Inc <AAPL.O> is a major customer for
major Taiwanese technology component makers, rose 9.6 percent in April from a
Orders from China, the island's biggest trading partner, rose 13.6 percent last
month compared with the same period a year ago.
April orders from the European Union and Japan climbed 4.9 percent and 4.6
The ministry expects the softness in smartphone demand to be mitigated by firmer
growth in products such as for the internet of things, auto electronics and
(Reporting by Roger Tung; Writing by Jess Macy Yu; Editing by Sam Holmes)
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