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Taiwan Trade March 2023

Taiwan: Merchandise exports decrease at a sharper pace in March

Merchandise exports sank 19.1% year-on-year in March, on the heels of February’s 17.1% plummet. Exports fell to all key trading partners and across all major subsectors. Meanwhile, merchandise imports dived 20.1% over the same month last year in March (February: -9.4% yoy), marking the weakest result since February 2019. Imports of energy and electronics declined particularly sharply, with the latter due to firms’ lower requirements for electronics inputs given the weak outlook for exports.

As a result, the merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month, recording a USD 4.2 billion surplus in March (February 2023: USD 2.3 billion surplus; March 2022: USD 4.7 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend deteriorated, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 44.9 billion surplus in March, compared to the USD 45.4 billion surplus in February.

On the outlook, ING’s Iris Pang said:

“The data points to a very weak export picture in March and in the coming months. We maintain our view that the recovery of Mainland China’s economy cannot fill the gap left by a weaker economy in the US and a milder one in Europe.”

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