Electronics, machinery push Taiwan's export orders up in April

Taipei, May 21 (CNA) Taiwan-based companies saw their export orders rise nearly 10 percent in April from the same period a year earlier, boosted by solid global growth and demand, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Monday. 

Taiwan's export orders in April posted year-on-year gains for the 20th time in the last 21 months, rising 9.8 percent to US$39.11 billion, MOEA figures showed. 

The MOEA said export orders placed with Taiwan-based electronic components and machinery suppliers hit record highs in April. 

Orders for electronic components rose 12.1 percent year-on-year to US$10.18 billion, fueled by strong demand for integrated circuits, servers and printed circuit boards for a growing range of applications in high performance computing, the Internet of Things, automotive electronics and gaming PCs, the MOEA said. 

But that growth was somewhat offset, the MOEA said, by weakening demand for smartphones and mining devices used in cryptocurrency transactions. 

With demand for smart manufacturing on the rise, export orders for machinery rose for the 21st consecutive month in April, by 18.6 percent to US$2.26 billion, according to MOEA figures. 

Boosted by higher demand for steel, export orders received by Taiwanese base metal vendors were up 16.5 percent in April to US$2.41 billion, while orders for plastics and rubber goods rose 18.9 percent to US$2.12 billion because of higher crude oil prices. 

Bucking the general upturn, the export orders to Taiwan-based information technology and communications companies edged down 0.3 percent year-on-year in April to NT$10.19 billion, while orders to the optoelectronics sector fell 9.5 percent to US$1.93 billion. 

The United States was the biggest source of export orders in April. Orders from the U.S. to Taiwan-based exporters rose 9.6 percent from a year earlier at US$10.91 billion, slightly higher than the US$10.56 billion in orders from China/Hong Kong, MOEA figures showed. 

Export orders placed by Europe, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Japan totaled US$7.27 billion, US$3.9 billion and US$2.11 billion, respectively, up 4.9 percent, 4.9 percent and 4.6 percent from a year earlier, according to MOEA data.

In the first four months of this year, Taiwan's export orders were up 7.2 percent from a year earlier to US$157 billion, MOEA figures showed.

(By Liao Yu-yang and Frances Huang from FOCUS TAIWAN: News Channel 2018.5.21)