Exports fall for eighth straight month, says MOF
Taiwan’s exports fell for an eighth straight month in September, contracting 14.6 percent year on year to US$22.54 billion, according to a Ministry of Finance (MOF, ) report released yesterday.
September’s export value is the lowest since October 2010 if excluding months tempered by the Lunar New Year Festival, said Yeh Maan-tzwu ( ), director of the Finance Ministry’s statistics department.
The official attributed last month’s drop to a patchy recovery of the global economy, a downswing in agricultural and industrial prices and disruptions to air and sea links caused by Typhoon Dujuan.
‘Reached the nadir’: MOF
So far this year, total export value has reached US$212.5 billion, 9.4 percent less compared to the same period in 2014.
“Particularly since June, Taiwan’s export situation has not been ideal, with the 4.2-percent export decline in the first quarter widening to 9.8 percent in the second and 13.8 percent in the third,” she said.
“I believe that we have reached the nadir.”
Yeh said that though the export slump in the fourth quarter is likely to ease, turning it to positive growth would prove a challenge.
“We would need to work very, very, very hard for it to turn positive — I said that three times,” Yeh told reporters in a press conference in Taipei.
The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC,
) has told the ministry that pressures related to inventory digestion should ease only by the end of the fourth quarter.
According to TSMC chief executive Morris Chang ( ), revenue in electronics may begin to improve only by the first quarter of next year, Yeh said.
Electronics Slide, Minerals Worst Hit
In September, double- digit losses were recorded in 10 of 11 export tronics.
Mineral products were the worst hit, plunging by 46.8 percent to US$950 million in September.
Optoelectronics exports fell 20.5 percent year on year to US$1.31 billion, and chemical products were down 24.9 percent to US$1.30 billion.
Electronics, Taiwan’s main export product, fell by about 10 percent year on year with losses in diodes, storage media and printed circuit boards.
Solar cells were the sole bright spot for electronics exports, rising slightly by 2.9 percent to NT$10 million.
“Solar cell shipments were poor through the first half of the year,
elec- but from July they have been enjoying three consecutive months of positive growth,” Yeh said.
“The data we have indicate that global demand and prices have stabilized.”
Transportation equipment exports also emerged unscathed, rising 8.5 percent to US$1 billion.
Exports account for about 75 percent of the Taiwan economy, according to latest ministry data.
Shipments destined for China and Hong Kong, which combined make up Taiwan’s largest trading partner, fell 17.1 percent in September from August.
Imports in September also recorded a loss, falling 6 percent year on year to US$2.8 billion, the ministry said.
Yeh Maan-tzwu ( ), director of the statistics department of the Ministry of Finance, reports on the latest export figures in Taipei, yesterday.