Ex­ports down 3.8 per­cent to US$25.63 bil. in May: Fi­nance Min­istry

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY ENRU LIN

Ex­ports con­tracted 3.8 per­cent to US$25.63 bil­lion last month from a year ear­lier, with the great­est retreat in in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions prod­ucts, the Fi­nance Min­istry ( ) re­ported yes­ter­day.

In May, ex­port or­ders for in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions prod­ucts to­taled US$ 930 mil­lion, plum­met­ing 24.7 per­cent from the same month last year on weak­en­ing global de­mand for cell­phones ( down 50.9 per­cent to US$ 250 mil­lion) and phone ac­ces­sories and com­po­nents ( down 36.4 per­cent to US$ 100 mil­lion).

Ex­ports in min­er­als and in rub­ber and plas­tic prod­ucts shrank by 17.5 and 7 per­cent year-on-year, re­spec­tively.

In the elec­tron­ics sec­tor, or­ders fell 4.4 per­cent in May to US$8.18 bil­lion: ex­port value for DRAM (Dy­namic Ran­dom Ac­cess Mem­ory) fell by 39.4 per­cent, me­dia stor­age by 14.1 per­cent, so­lar bat­ter­ies by 19.2 per­cent and diodes by 10.3 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est trade data.

Two prod­uct cat­e­gories that posted pos­i­tive growth in­clude ma­chine tool and trans­porta- tion equip­ment, where or­ders in­creased by 7.3 and 8 per­cent, re­spec­tively.

4th Month of Decline

The ex­port fig­ures mark the fourth con­sec­u­tive month of decline. To­tal value from Jan­uary to the end of May was US$119.36 bil­lion, down 5.7 per­cent from the same pe­riod last year.

Im­ports also saw an an­nual decline in May of 5.4 per­cent to US$20.21 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Fi­nance.

Cu­mu­la­tive i mports f rom Jan­uary to the end of May was US$95.77 bil­lion, a 14.7-per­cent

fall from the same pe­riod last year.

Chi­nese Com­pe­ti­tion and Global

Vari­ables

The Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs (MOEA, ) said yes­ter­day that the dis­ap­point­ing trade data can be traced mainly to Chi­nese sup­ply chain com­pe­ti­tion and a slow­ing global econ­omy.

A re­cent re­bound in the price of in­ter­na­tional crude oil has soft­ened over­seas de­mand for Tai­wan’s min­er­als and rub­ber and plas­tic prod­ucts, an Eco­nomics Min­istry of­fi­cial said.

Un­even global de­mand has also driven down the ex­port or­ders of neigh­bor­ing economies in­clud­ing South Korea, Sin­ga­pore, main­land China and Ja­pan.

South Korea’s ex­port or­ders plunged 8 per­cent in April and then 10.9 per­cent in May, the of­fi­cial said. For Tai­wan, a sec­ond ma­jor set­back has been the strength­en­ing “main­land Chi­nese sup­ply chain,” with which it di­rectly com­petes for in­ter­na­tional as­sem­bly or­ders.

This sup­ply chain com­pe­ti­tion and a slug­gish global econ­omy can have sig­nif­i­cant mid to long-term ram­i­fi­ca­tions for Tai­wan, be­cause it par­tic­i­pates in very few free­trade agree­ments (FTAs) amid a pro­lif­er­at­ing re­gional net­work, the MOEA of­fi­cial said.

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