Taipei, Export orders received by Taiwan-based companies in March grew more than 40.4 percent from the previous month to US$40.26 billion despite the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Monday.
That represents an increase of US$11.58 billion in export orders from February and year-on-year growth of 4.3 percent, the ministry said.
It also brings first quarter export orders to a total of US$104.24 billion, a 23.1 percent drop from fourth quarter export orders last year, and a year-on-year decrease of 3.5 percent, according to MOEA data.
Due to the global impact of COVID-19, the ministry forecast in February that export orders in the first quarter would be US$97.5-US$99 billion.
According to Huang Yu-ling (黃于玲), director of the MOEA’s Department of Statistics, export orders secured by the information and communications industry in March rose 6.9 percent from last year, partly due to the reopening of factories owned by Taiwanese businesses in China.
Those factories, which were mostly closed in January and February as part of Chinese efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, have now reopened and are processing previously delayed orders, Huang said.
Another reason behind growth in the industry is increased demand for phones and computers, as more people are having to work and learn from home amid the pandemic, Huang said.
In the electronic components industry, export orders were up 23.8 percent from last year, largely due to the continued increase in demand for 5G applications and high-performance computing devices, according to Huang.
Meanwhile, the plastics/rubber and chemical product industries were clearly affected by the pandemic and declining crude oil prices, Huang said.
Export orders in both sectors suffered double-digit declines from a year earlier, with a decrease of 11.6 percent and 19.8 percent respectively, Huang said.
As to forecasts of the value of export orders in April, Huang said it was likely to be lower than March, largely due to uncertainty surrounding the European and U.S. markets as the pandemic continues.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel