Taiwan: Merchandise exports decline in October
Merchandise exports fell 0.5% year-on-year in October, on the heels of Septembers 5.3% decrease. While IT and electronics exports expanded, exports of metals, machinery and plastics fell. The overall decline in exports was due to lower sales to China, as shipments to other countries increased. Meanwhile, merchandise imports increased 8.2% in annual terms in October (September: -2.4% yoy), driven by higher fuel imports.
As a result, the merchandise trade balance deteriorated from the previous month, recording a USD 3.0 billion surplus in October (September 2022: USD 5.0 billion surplus; October 2021: USD 6.0 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend deteriorated, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 55.2 billion surplus in October, compared to the USD 58.2 billion surplus in September.
Looking forward, a slowdown in the developed world, a sluggish Chinese economy and a shift in spending from goods to services will all weigh on Taiwanese exports, which are likely to decline in annual terms over the next few quarters.