Taiwan: Merchandise exports increase in September
Merchandise exports shot up 29.2% year-on-year in September, on the heels of August’s 26.9% upturn and spurred by ongoing strong electronics exports. Meanwhile, merchandise imports climbed 40.4% in annual terms in September (August: +46.2% yoy), amid markedly higher imports of commodities and electronics.
As a result, the merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month, recording a USD 6.4 billion surplus in September (August 2021: USD 3.5 billion surplus; September 2020: USD 7.1 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend pointed down, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 65.9 billion surplus in September, compared to the USD 66.6 billion surplus in August. Export orders—which typically lead actual exports by two to three months—shot up 17.6% in August, the latest month for which data is available. While still robust, the reading was the weakest since last October, suggesting export momentum could ebb going forward. Nonetheless, the external sector should remain an important growth driver thanks to a strong semiconductor sector.