Taiwan: Exports and imports fall in June, trade surplus increases to 10-month high
July 7, 2020
Merchandise exports contracted 3.8% in annual terms in June, following May’s 2.0% fall. The sharper overall drop was spearheaded by a continued fall in exports of base metals, plastics and machinery, partially offset by higher outflows of electronic products. Meanwhile, export orders—which typically lead actual exports by two to three months—increased 0.4% in May, the latest month for which data is available, suggesting healthy trade momentum going forward.
Meanwhile, merchandise imports fell 8.6% year-on-year in June, following the 3.4% decline recorded in May. The steepening fall was driven by a sharp drop in imports of petroleum and other mineral products, while a sustained increase in electronic product imports—suggesting healthy domestic demand dynamics—tempered the overall decline somewhat.
As a result, the trade surplus rose to a 10-month high of USD 4.8 billion in June, marginally above the USD 4.7 billion figure observed in May, and rising strongly from the USD 3.8 billion surplus recorded in June 2019. The 12-month trailing trade surplus ticked up to USD 44.8 billion in June from USD 43.8 billion in May.
Author: Stephen Vogado, Economist