Taiwan: Exports and imports soar in February, trimming trade surplus
March 9, 2020
Merchandise exports expanded 24.9% in annual terms in February, contrasting January’s 7.5% contraction. The reading reflected a surge in electronic and ICT product exports, while base metal and plastics outflows also increased. That said, export orders—which typically lead actual exports by two to three months—decreased 12.8% in January, the latest month for which data is available, suggesting ebbing trade momentum going forward.
Meanwhile, merchandise imports skyrocketed 44.7% year-on-year in February, reversing direction from the 17.6% decrease recorded in the prior month. The increase was broad-based, with steep rises recorded in all sub-sectors.
As such, the trade surplus fell to USD 3.3 billion in February, down significantly from the USD 5.1 billion figure observed in February 2019, and lower than the USD 3.5 billion surplus recorded in the previous month. The 12-month trailing trade surplus fell to USD 44.3 billion in February from USD 46.1 billion in January.
Author: Stephen Vogado, Economist