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Taiwan Trade September 2019

Taiwan: Exports fall in September, contrasting growth in August

Merchandise exports decreased 4.6% in September in annual terms, contrasting August’s revised 2.8% increase (previously reported: +2.6% year-on-year). The fall was partly due to a large drop in exports of base metals and base metal products. Meanwhile, export orders—which typically lead actual exports by two to three months—plunged 8.3% in August, down from the 3.0% drop in July. This suggests that Taiwan’s external sector will remain hampered by weak demand in the coming months.

Merchandise imports decreased 0.6% in September, following the 3.1% drop in August. This latest fall was due to a slump in petroleum imports, although growth in imports of electronic products helped moderate the overall decrease.

The 12-month trailing sum of exports fell 1.8% in September, down from August’s 1.2% decrease, while growth in the 12-month trailing sum of imports slowed to 0.8% in September from August’s 2.0% increase.

The trade surplus narrowed to USD 3.1 billion in September from both USD 3.1 billion in September 2018 and USD 6.0 billion in the previous month. The 12-month trailing trade surplus decreased to USD 45.4 billion in September from USD 46.7 billion in August.

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