Taiwan: Exports growth moderates further in April, imports growth rebounds
May 8, 2017
Exports increased 9.4% year-on-year, totaling USD 24.3 billion in April, according to data from the Ministry of Finance (MOF). The increase, albeit still solid, was below the 13.2% expansion recorded in March and marked the second month running of moderating growth. Taiwan’s exports growth eased due to decelerating shipments overseas of electronical parts, the mainstay of the island’s external sector. Steam in Taiwan’s electronics parts and semiconductors industry is petering out amid reports that smartphone production in China has slowed down following this year’s Lunar New Year. Despite decelerating growth, the 12-month trailing sum of exports rose slightly in April and reached a total of USD 292 billion, a figure that was 6.1% higher relative to the same period last year and marginally above March’s USD 290 billion reading.
Conversely, imports rose a sizeable 23.5% in annual terms in April, totaling USD 21.5 billion. The reading was above March’s already noteworthy 19.8% expansion. April’s increase brought imports to a total of USD 246 billion over the previous 12 months—a 8.2% increase year-on-year.
Taiwan’s trade surplus totaled USD 2.9 billion in April. This marked the weakest surplus in nearly a year and a half and spelled bad news for the island’s economic recovery, with exports likely to remain subdued through Q2 on dwindling Chinese demand. In the 12 months up to April, the trade surplus totaled USD 46.3 billion, smaller than March’s USD 48.3 billion reading and the smallest surplus in more than two years.
Author: David Ampudia, Economist