Foreign orders edge up 1.3% in March: MOEA
Foreign orders totaled US$490 million ( NT$ 15.218 billion) in March, registering 1.3 percent growth year-on-year, according to a report released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday.
Orders for the nation’s electronics, information and communications technology (ICT) and machinery products continued to grow, while orders for precision instruments, base metals, plastic and chemical products kept slipping.
ICT and electronics products, which accounted for more than half of total orders, saw 12.9 percent and 1.5 percent growth in orders, respectively, in March.
Strong demand for mobile devices resulted in high orders for parts and components assembly in related supply chains. There was also a strong demand for high-end wafer, DRAM and integrated circuit testing and packaging.
Orders for machinery jumped nearly 10 percent, sustaining 14 months of consecutive growth. The MOEA attributed the trend to increased demand from the U.S., Europe and mainland China, and local firms expanding investment to ramp up production in Southeast Asia.
Precision instrument orders plummeted 9.6 percent as mainland manufacturers ratchet up panel production, which resulted in fierce price competition.
Base metal product orders declined nearly 6 percent largely due to steel’s oversupply and the consequent falling prices.
Plastic product orders dropped 9.1 percent largely due to falling prices in oil, raw materials and therefore end products.
Orders for chemical products fell 9 percent because of reduced oil and petrochemical prices too. MOEA Statistics Department Director Lin Leejen ( ) noted that oil prices dropped 50 percent in March
from a year ago.
Western Markets Placed More
With regards to Taiwan’s major markets, orders placed from the U.S. and Europe jumped 16.7 percent and 9.1 percent, respectively. More specifically, orders for ICT and electronics products saw the largest growth.
Orders placed from the U.S. totaled US$ 9.91 billion, making it the largest export market. Orders placed from Europe totaled US$7.38 billion. The MOEA pointed out the amount had been growing for 20 consecutive months.
Mainland China and Hong Kong placed the second largest number of orders from Taiwan — US$9.69 billion. However, the amount dipped 3.8 percent compared with a year ago. Orders for chemical products and precision instrument saw the largest decline.
Orders from ASEAN-6 countries (Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand) dipped 5.4 percent, of which oil products saw greater decline.
Japan’s orders plummeted 22.8 percent, which represented the 7th consecutive month of negative growth. The MOEA said Japan’s orders for electronics and ICT products plunged some 35 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Orders for plasma TVs and laptops saw the greatest drop.
Orders to Fall in April
The MOEA’s survey found 25.5 percent of exporters believe orders will pick up in April, while 57.1 percent believe the orders will stay leveled, and 17.4 percent predict orders will fall. All in all, the MOEA forecast the amount of orders will decline in April.
Containers are loaded onto ships docking in a port, yesterday. Foreign orders totaled US$490 million in March, representing 1.3 percent annual growth, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. Foreign orders grew 2.5 percent in the first quarter.