Taiwan's exports returned to positive growth in October, up more than 9 percent from a year earlier with the help of strong global demand for semiconductor products, government statistics showed Monday.
In October, Taiwan's outbound sales totaled US$26.75 billion, up 9.4 percent from a year earlier, after they declined 1.8 percent year-on-year in September when typhoons battered the country and reduced the number of working days, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said.
The MOF said the 9.4 percent rise included shipments deferred from September.
October export growth also benefited from a low base of comparison in 2015, and in fact numbers the October 2016 export figures were still slightly lower than the US$26.88 billion in exports in October 2014.
Oil prices and world trade went into a tailspin for most of 2015.
Imports rose 19.5 percent in October from a year earlier to US$22.37 billion, giving Taiwan a trade surplus of US$4.38 billion, down US$1.36 billion from a year earlier, the MOF's data showed.
In the first 10 months of the year, Taiwan's exports were still down 4.5 percent from a year earlier at US$229.38 billion, and imports were also down 4.7 percent at US$189.04 billion.
That left a trade surplus of US$40.33 billion during the January-October period, down US$1.5 billion from a year earlier.
Tsai Mei-na (???), head of the MOF's statistics department, said strong sales of Taiwan-made semiconductors played an important role in the latest export data, with semiconductor exports up 21 percent from a year earlier at US$7.79 billion for October.
Exports of the electronics component sector as a whole rose 15.3 percent from a year earlier to US$9.07 billion, giving a 4.9 percentage point boost to overall export growth, the MOF said.
In addition, exports of information/communications products totaled US$3.11 billion, up 18.2 percent from a year earlier, and exports of base metal and related products gained 14.8 percent from a year earlier to US$2.27 billion.
Exports of machinery rose 12.9 percent year-on-year to US$1.91 billion, and exports of chemical products also gained 9.9 percent from a year earlier to US$1.59 billion.
In terms of major markets, outbound sales to China and Hong Kong rose 14.9 percent from a year earlier to US$11.36 billion, and were up 13.2 percent to US$4.8 billion to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states.
They were also 7.8 percent higher to the United States at US$3.06 billion, 6.8 percent higher to Europe at US$2.27 billion, and 3.5 percent higher to Japan at US$1.83 billion, according to the MOF.
The MOF said the increase in exports to these major markets showed that the global economy is showing signs of improvement.
Tsai said many major high-tech firms, such as contract chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (???) and flat panel supplier AU Optronics Corp. (??), have expressed optimism toward the fourth quarter.
As a result, Tsai said, Taiwan's export growth momentum is expected to continue to the end of this year.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel