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Taiwan Trade April 2023

Taiwan: Merchandise exports slide further in April

Merchandise exports plummeted 13.3% over the same month last year in April, on the heels of March’s 19.1% plunge and marking the eighth straight month of contraction. Exports of electronics, metals, machinery and plastics all declined in the month. Moreover, shipments to all major markets except Japan declined, with exports to China falling by 22.0%. Meanwhile, merchandise imports plunged 20.2% on an annual basis in April (March: -20.1% yoy), marking the weakest result since February 2019.

As a result, the merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month, recording a USD 6.7 billion surplus in April (March 2023: USD 4.2 billion surplus; April 2022: USD 4.8 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend improved, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 46.8 billion surplus in April, compared to the USD 44.9 billion surplus in March.

On the outlook, EIU analysts said:

“Downside pressures on demand for Taiwanese goods seem to have bottomed out, and we expect the contraction in the island’s exports to continue to narrow between May and July. However, the separately published export price index leaves little doubt that negative global macroeconomic factors will keep Taiwan’s export sector subject to stiff headwinds. US dollar-denominated export prices contracted by 8.2% year on year in April, steeper than the drop of 7.6% in March, which illustrates weakening demand.”

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