Taiwan: Merchandise exports growth eases in January
Merchandise exports rose up 16.7% annually in January, on the heels of December’s 23.4% jump. January’s figure marked the softest growth since February 2021. Meanwhile, merchandise imports increased 24.9% on an annual basis in January (December: +28.1% yoy), also marking the softest upturn since February 2021.
As a result, the merchandise trade balance deteriorated from the previous month, recording a USD 4.9 billion surplus in January (December 2020: USD 5.8 billion surplus; January 2021: USD 6.2 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend pointed down, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 64.2 billion surplus in January, compared to the USD 65.4 billion surplus in December. Export orders—which typically lead actual exports by two to three months—rose 12.1% in December, the latest month for which data is available, suggesting further cooling trade momentum going forward.
Looking forward, underlying export momentum should remain robust in 2022 on a healthy chip market, even as headline export growth moderates due to the tough base of comparison.