Taipei, Taiwan’s exports inched up in July, reversing a year-on-year decline seen in the previous four months, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Friday.
Solid demand for high-tech gadgets offset the weakness in outbound sales posted by old economy industries amid the continuing impact from COVID-19, the MOF said.
Data compiled by the MOF showed the country’s exports rose 0.4 percent from a year earlier to hit US$28.20 billion after a 3.8 percent year-on-year drop in June.
On a month-on-month basis, the July outbound sales also rose 3.9 percent, the data indicated.
In July, the MOF said Taiwan’s imports, however, fell 6.8 percent from a year earlier to US$22.83 billion and the fall in imports boosted a trade surplus by US$1.76 billion from a year earlier to US$5.37 billion in July.
In the first seven months of this year, the MOF said, Taiwan’s exports rose 0.5 percent from a year earlier to US$186.21 billion, but imports fell 1.3 percent year-on-year to US$159.49 billion, with the trade surplus at US$26.72 billion, up US$3.08 billion from a year earlier, the MOF said.
The MOF said the high-tech industry in July continued to get a boost from strong demand for devices used in working remotely and learning online, as both have become necessary amid COVID-19, while emerging technologies such as 5G applications lifted outbound sales further.
In July, electronics component makers saw a 15.5 percent year-on-year increase in exports totaling US$10.98 billion, which made up 38.9 percent of the total outbound sales, with exports in semiconductor suppliers up 16.6 percent at US$9.84 billion, the MOF said.
As for the information and audio/video device firms, their exports for July hit a new high of US$4.35 billion, up 18.5 percent from a year earlier, and accounting for 15.4 percent of the total exports in the month, the MOF said.
The old economy industries, however, continued to feel the impact resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic in July, the MOF said.
Last month, exports of base metal, machinery, plastics/rubber and chemical products fell 12.0 percent, 14.1 percent, 10.8 percent and 17.4 percent, respectively, from a year earlier to US$2.04 billion, US$1.77 billion, US$1.73 billion and US$1.29 billion, the data showed.
The MOF said China and Hong Kong combined remained the largest buyer of Taiwan-made goods in July, with purchases valued at US$12.58 billion, up 12.7 percent from a year earlier, and making up about 44.6 percent of the total exports.
The growth of exports to China and Hong Kong resulted from a recovery in demand from the China market, where the impact imposed by COVID-19 was fading in the wake of economic reopening, the MOF said.
The United States came in second with exports at US$4.36 billion, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, followed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (U$4.32 billion, down 8.8 percent), Europe (US$2.22 billion, down 11.3 percent), and Japan (US$1.79 billion, down 3.3 percent), the MOF said.
Looking ahead, the MOF said that as COVID-19 continues to affect the global economy, Taiwan’s exports for August are expected to fall 0.5-2.5 percent from a year earlier.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel