TAIPEI : Taiwan’s exports rose for a 16th straight month in October to a new high as the island’s technology manufacturers faced sustained demand for consumer electronics in the coming year-end shopping season and amid a global shortage of computer chips. Exports in October were the highest monthly figure on record, rising 24.6per cent from a year earlier to US$40.14 billion, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday, report agencies.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a rise of 24.4per cent for October, compared with a 29.2per cent increase in September.
The growth was also supported by robust demand and rising prices for chips, a shortage of which has crippled car plants globally and is affecting consumer electronics, and the gradual post-pandemic economic bounce back around the world.
Exports of telecommunication and electronics products hit a record high in October at US$5.88 billion, with semiconductor exports growing 11.8per cent from a year earlier.
Firms such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) are major suppliers to Apple Inc and other global tech giants, as well as providers of chips for auto companies and lower-end consumer electronics.
The ministry warned of risks ahead, including uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect of power cuts in China on supply chains.
But it said the strong growth should continue for the next six months, with new consumer electronics hitting the market and the year-end holiday season, traditionally a busy time for Taiwan’s tech firms, helping exports.
October exports to China, Taiwan’s largest trading partner, grew an annual 14.3per cent to US$16.22 billion, while exports to the United States jumped 29.4per cent.
Imports leapt 37.2per cent, above economists’ expectations for a 30.7per cent rise and an increase of 40.4per cent in September.
Taiwan could see November exports increase in the range of 22per cent to 26per cent compared with a year earlier, the ministry added.