September exports snap losing streak
By ECCT staff writers, MOF
Taiwan’s total exports rose by 3.4% to US$38.811 billion in the month of September, marking the first rise in monthly exports following 12 consecutive months of declines. According to statistics provided by the Ministry of Finance (MOF), the small rise in September brought cumulative year-to-date exports to US$316.98 billion, which is 13.8% below the same period in 2022.
While exports to China fell by 8.8% in the month, shipments to ASEAN markets rose 24.8%, making the bloc Taiwan’s second-largest export destination. According to an MOF report, the release of new-generation consumer electronic products, notably smartphones, and a low comparison base from the same period last year helped boost exports. Shipments of machinery and electrical equipment (which includes five sub-categories of technology products and components) rose by 8.4% overall thanks to a 59.8% surge in shipments of “information, communication and audio-video” (ICT) products (the second largest sub-category by value), although shipments of “parts of electronic product” (or electronic components, the largest sub-category by value, which includes semiconductor chips), shrank by 4.3% year-on-year to US$16.264 billion. Year-to-date total exports of machinery and electrical equipment have reached US$234.118 billion, down by 7.8% from the same period last year, of which exports of electronic components reached US$152.036 billion, down 12.8% from the same period last year. However, exports of ICT products have now reached US$54.871 billion, which is 15.4% higher than the first nine months of 2022.
Meanwhile imports in September came in at US$28.487 billion, down 12.2% from the same month in 2022. Year-to-date, total imports into Taiwan are down by 19.7%.
Broken down by region, exports to China and Hong Kong have accounted for the largest share of exports (35.3%) year-to-date, while exports to ASEAN countries have accounted for 17.6%, the United States 16.6%, Europe 10.2% and Japan 7.4%. Europe is one of the few regions that has a positive trade balance with Taiwan given a higher portion of exports from Europe to Taiwan compared to imports. Year-to-September, Taiwan has exported US$32.428 billion worth of goods to Europe and imported US$35.602 billion worth of goods from Europe. Imports from Europe year-to-date have accounted for 13.5% of Taiwan’s total imports, compared to 19.8% of total imports from China + Hong Kong, 12.7% from Japan, 11.7% from the United States and 11.7% from ASEAN countries.