Taipei--Taiwan's export orders rose 5.2 percent in January from a year earlier to US$35.97 billion, marking the sixth consecutive month of positive growth, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Monday.
Export orders continued to grow year-on-year in January, due partly to a low base of comparison, according to Lin Li-chen (???), director of the MOEA's Department of Statistics.
They were also down in U.S. dollar terms compared to January 2015 before the domestic and global economy went into a tailspin.
Compared with December 2016, export orders were down by US$5.27 billion, or 12.8 percent, in January, likely because the first quarter is a typically slow season for exports, the ministry said.
Export orders for precision equipment in January posted 17.6 percent annual growth, due largely to robust demand for flat panels as a result of inventory increases by TV vendors, the ministry said.
Orders received by machinery makers jumped 13 percent year-on-year, thanks to increased demand for automation in China and Hong Kong, the ministry said.
Driven by strong demand for handheld devices, high-price notebook computers and servers, export orders received by information/communications device makers rose 6.7 percent year-on-year, according to the MOEA.
Other electronics manufacturers saw their export orders increase 1.4 percent from a year earlier, it said.
Benefiting from rising oil and steel prices, export orders received by the base metal, chemical, and plastics/rubber sectors recorded year-on-year growth of 9.7 percent, 12.9 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively, the ministry said.
In January, export orders from Japan increased 5.3 percent year-on-year, ending 28 consecutive months of negative growth, according to the ministry.
Orders from Europe, China and Hong Kong, and the United States rose 8.3 percent, 5.5 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively, from the year-earlier level, the ministry said.
Orders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations showed a 7 percent annual drop, however, mainly because some companies allowed their overseas subsidiaries to handle the orders directly, the MOEA said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel