July’s export orders tumble 5.7 percent: Economics Ministry
The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA, ) yesterday announced that export orders for July totaled only US$36.29 billion, amounting to a 5.7-percent yearon-year drop, making it the fourth month of consecutive decline.
The MOEA confirmed the gloomy news with the release of its latest data. Poor order results were seen in panel orders, while declines in metals, plastics and rubber products were also recorded with reduction rates at 19.4 percent, 14.4 percent and 14.8 percent, respectively.
The MOEA cited oversupply in an environment of weak demand, competition with China and unstable international oil prices as contributing causes for the numbers.
On a positive note, orders for ICT products grew 8.4 percent, raking in a total of US$9.88 billion. Electronics products saw a small decline, with a 0.6-percent annual reduction rate and were valued at US$9.51 billion. Other products saw double- digit declines, the MOEA said.
The primary countries that contributed to July’s export orders included the U.S., which saw positive growth in orders of 10.9 percent, but there were drops for six major ASEAN economies as well as China, Hong Kong, Europe and Japan, according to the MOEA.
MOEA Statistics Department Director Lin Lee-jen ( ) noted that the coming August results will likely reflect July’s lacking performance. Positive growth will likely take off in September as companies ride on the promotion of new products from international companies and year-end consumer demands.
On whether annual export orders will see a positive turn, as the fourth quarter is traditionally Taiwan’s peak season, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Cho Shih-chao ( ) remained ambivalent, stating that “it is too difficult to say for now.”
For positive growth in orders, Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER, ) President Wu Chung-shu ( ) said that companies will “need to work extremely hard in the fourth quarter.” Wu estimated that this year’s fourth quarter will reflect last year’s mediocre performance.
“Taiwan’s basic competitiveness isn’t lacking; what needs improvement is Taiwan’s integration with international standards and cultivation of relative talents,” Wu said.