Cityscape at night in Taiwan

Taiwan Trade September 2018

Taiwan: Export growth picks up in September but remains weak

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

Free sample report

Access essential information in the shortest time possible. FocusEconomics provide hundreds of consensus forecast reports from the most reputable economic research authorities in the world.
Close Left Media Arrows Left Media Circles Right Media Arrows Right Media Circles Arrow Quote Wave Address Email Telephone Man in front of screen with line chart Document with bar chart and magnifying glass Application window with bar chart Target with arrow Line Chart Stopwatch Globe with arrows Document with bar chart in front of screen Bar chart with magnifying glass and dollar sign Lightbulb Document with bookmark Laptop with download icon Calendar Icon Nav Menu Arrow Arrow Right Long Icon Arrow Right Icon Chevron Right Icon Chevron Left Icon Briefcase Icon Linkedin In Icon Full Linkedin Icon Filter Facebook Linkedin Twitter Pinterest