Taiwan Trade September 2018


Taiwan: Export growth picks up in September but remains weak

October 8, 2018

Merchandise exports grew 2.6% in annual terms in September, accelerating from the 1.9% expansion registered in August and significantly exceeding the predictions of analysts who had expected exports to contract 1.3%. Nevertheless, the print was much lower than the double-digit growth rates recorded at the beginning of the year, causing growth in the 12-month trailing sum of exports to fall from 10.7% in August to 8.7% in September. On the other hand, export orders in August increased 8.4% year-on-year, up from 8.0% yoy in July. Since export orders typically lead actual exports by two to three months, the July and August order data likely indicates an acceleration of export activity in the months to come.

Looking at the details of export categories, the September print was driven by a sharp rebound in exports of base metals and articles of base metals, as well as faster growth in exports of plastics and rubber and articles thereof. These increases more than compensated for contractions in exports of parts of electronic products (which represents a third of Taiwan’s total exports); information, communication and audio-video products; and machinery. In terms of regional segmentation, exports to mainland China and Hong Kong, Japan and Europe all decelerated. On the other hand, the contraction in exports to ASEAN countries was markedly softer than in August, while exports to the USA accelerated sharply.

Import growth meanwhile jumped from 7.9% year-on-year in August to 13.9% in September. This was largely due to soaring imports of base metals and articles thereof, and higher imports of petroleum. Growth of the 12-month trailing sum of imports moderated from 11.2% in August to 10.6% in September.

Due to the surge in imports, the trade surplus reached USD 4.3 billion in September, down from USD 4.5 billion in August. Meanwhile, the 12-month trailing trade surplus fell to USD 54.0 billion in September, from USD 56.3 billion in the 12 months up to August.

Taiwan Trade Balance Forecast

Our panelists forecast that exports will expand 7.7% in 2018 and imports will rise 7.7%, bringing the trade surplus to USD 62.3 billion. In 2019, our panel expects exports will expand 4.7%, while imports will rise 5.0%, with the trade surplus hitting USD 64.6 billion.

Author:, Economist

Sample Report

Looking for forecasts related to Trade in Taiwan? Download a sample report now.


Taiwan Trade Chart

Taiwan Trade12m September 2018 0

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual average variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports.
Source: Ministry of Finance (MOF) and FocusEconomics calculations.

Taiwan Economic News

  • Taiwan: Industrial production soars in December

    January 22, 2020

    Industrial output increased 6.0% in December compared to the same month a year earlier, quickening from the 1.8% increase recorded in November. The acceleration in December was chiefly driven by strong output growth in the manufacturing sector, which represents more than 90% of total industrial production, while a return to expansion in electricity and gas supply supported the overall figure.

    Read more

  • Taiwan: Economic activity accelerates in Q4

    January 21, 2020

    The economy grew 3.4% in the final quarter of 2019 compared to the same period a year earlier, according to an advance GDP estimate, up from the third quarter’s 3.0% increase.

    Read more

  • Taiwan: Inflation accelerates in December

    January 7, 2020

    Consumer prices increased 0.04% in December compared with the previous month, contrasting the 0.41% decrease in November.

    Read more

  • Taiwan: Exports and imports both climb in December, while trade surplus declines

    January 7, 2020

    Merchandise exports increased 4.0% in December in annual terms, following November’s 3.3% expansion.

    Read more

  • Taiwan: Manufacturing PMI ends the year on a positive note

    January 2, 2020

    The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), reported by IHS Markit, rose to 50.8 in December from 49.8 in November, thus moving above the 50-threshold and signaling the first improvement in operating conditions in over a year. The improvement came amid an uptick in the amount of new work received by manufacturers, ending a 15-month run of contraction.

    Read more

More news

Search form