Taiwan Trade December 2018

Taiwan

Taiwan: Exports contract for second consecutive month in December

January 7, 2019

Merchandise exports fell 3.0% in annual terms in December, a slight improvement over November’s 3.4% year-on-year contraction. Despite the weak showing, December’s result nonetheless positively surprised analysts, who had expected a sharper contraction of 5.1% yoy. Furthermore, November export orders—which usually lead actual exports by two to three months—also contracted 2.1% year-on-year, confirming that the ongoing feebleness of Taiwan’s trade sector should persist at least into the first quarter. Following the month’s weak print, growth in the 12-month trailing sum of exports fell from 7.5% in November to 5.9% in December.

As in November, the decline of exports in December came primarily on the back of lower shipments of electronic parts, which account for about a third of Taiwan’s total exports, with the category recording a steeper contraction compared to November. Exports of base metals as well as plastics and rubber also continued to contract in December, albeit at a softer pace than in the previous month. On the plus side, machinery exports rebounded after sharply declining in November, while growth in exports of information, communication and audio-video products picked up significantly.

In terms of regional segmentation, the print was again driven by a sharp and worsening contraction in shipments to Taiwan’s largest export markets—namely, mainland China and Hong Kong, and the ASEAN region , which together account for just under 60% of total merchandise exports. On the other hand, shipments to Europe rebounded in December following November’s slump, and exports to the U.S. accelerated markedly.

Looking at imports, growth modestly accelerated from 1.1% in November to 2.2% in December, due largely to higher imports of electronic parts and mineral products. Growth of the 12-month trailing sum of imports fell from 11.5% in November to 10.6% in December.

Lastly, the trade surplus was stable at November’s USD 4.7 billion in December, while the 12-month trailing trade surplus fell to USD 49.4 billion in December from USD 50.8 billion in November.

Our panelists forecast that exports will expand 4.1% in 2019 and imports will rise 4.0%, bringing the trade surplus to USD 59.9 billion. In 2020, our panel expects exports will expand 7.6%, while imports will rise 11.0%, bringing up the trade surplus to USD 54.2 billion.


Author:, Economist

Sample Report

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

Download

Taiwan Trade Chart


Taiwan Trade12m December 2018

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