Taiwan Trade August 2019


Taiwan: Exports rebound in August but lower export orders in July indicate lingering weakness

September 9, 2019

Merchandise exports grew 2.6% in August compared to the same month a year earlier, contrasting the 0.5% fall in July. A solid increase in electronic product exports, which account for around one third of total shipments, boosted August’s reading. Reduced exports of base metal products, and machinery, plastics and rubber had the opposite effect, however. Meanwhile, export orders—which typically lead actual exports by two to three months—fell 3.0% in July. This is up slightly from the 4.5% decrease in June but still suggests that Taiwan’s external sector will remain plagued by weak demand in the coming months.

Merchandise imports tumbled 2.7% in August, after falling 5.4% in July, on significantly lower chemical and metal imports.

The 12-month trailing sum of exports fell 1.3% in August, matching July’s drop, while growth of the 12-month trailing sum of imports slowed to 2.0% in August from 2.9% in July.

The trade surplus rose to USD 6.0 billion in August from both USD 4.6 billion in August 2018 and USD 3.6 billion in the previous month. The 12-month trailing trade surplus rose to USD 46.6 billion in August from USD 45.2 billion in July.

Our panelists forecast that exports will expand 1.8% in 2019 and imports will rise 1.2%, bringing the trade surplus to USD 52.3 billion. In 2020, our panel expects exports will expand 5.0%, while imports will rise 4.9%, bringing up the trade surplus to USD 55.0 billion.

Author:, Economist

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Taiwan Trade Chart

Taiwan Trade12m August 2019

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.

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