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Taiwan Trade December 2023

Taiwan: Merchandise exports gain steam in December

Merchandise exports jumped 11.8% in annual terms in December, on the heels of November’s 3.8% rise. The upturn was due to a 94.7% expansion in IT exports, with other sectors declining. December’s result marked the fastest growth since July 2022. Meanwhile, merchandise imports fell 6.5% in annual terms in December (November: -14.8% yoy), marking the strongest reading since October 2022.

As a result, the merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month, recording a USD 11.1 billion surplus in December (November 2023: USD 9.8 billion surplus; December 2022: USD 4.9 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend improved, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 80.6 billion surplus in December, compared to the USD 74.3 billion surplus in November.

Analysts at the EIU commented on the outlook:

“Taiwanese exports will recover in early 2024, when firmer demand for overseas electronics will facilitate a recovery in outbound shipments. Continued inventory destocking across key markets—including China, the US and the EU—underpins this call, with the depressive effects of higher global interest rates on consumption the main downside risk.”

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