Taiwan’s Q122 exports remain robust: ministry

Taiwan’s exports in 2021 totaled $446.5 billion, growing 29.4 percent year-on-year, while the growth momentum is expected to continue through the 12th quarter, the government said.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance released its latest monthly report on domestic exports on February 11. Exports in January totaled $39.98 billion, up 16.7% from the same month of 2020. The bulk (39.3%) was exports to China and Hong Kong which totaled nearly $15.7 billion, according to ministry data.

Taiwan’s exports are affected by the interplay of different dynamics in the global economy, including the Sino-US trade and technology rivalry and the COVID-19 outbreaks. Considering the close interactions of electronics supply chains on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan’s exports to China and Hong Kong have increased for several consecutive years.

Among Taiwan’s top 30 exporters, 17 are electronic component makers or IC retailers, according to ministry data.

Taiwan’s 48,000 exporters earned an average of US$9.07 million from China and Hong Kong, the highest among their top five markets (the other four being ASEAN, the United States, Europe and Japan). Regarding their main products, exporters of electronic components in 2021 earned on average almost US$37 million, the highest of all sectors, while exporters of machinery – which are mostly SMEs – earned an average of US$1.6 million.

The steady recovery of the global economy is supporting demand for new technology applications and digital transformation, while commodity prices remain at high levels. In January 2022, Taiwan’s export revenue gained $5.72 billion, up 16.7% from the same month last year.

In the electronic components segment, sales of integrated circuits increased by $2.5 billion, a growth of 20.9% compared to the same month of 2021, sales of PCBs increased by $80 million, up 15.6%, and diode sales increased $30 million, up 10.1%.

Sales of information, communications and audio-visual products increased by US$650 million, up 14.3%. Among them, computer components grew 43.1%, or US$500 million; switches and routers grew 26.8%, or $130 million, while computers and related peripherals grew 11.4%, or $100 million. Among exported machinery, semiconductor equipment increased by 46.6%, or US$170 million.

Looking ahead, the ministry expects Taiwan’s Q122 exports to maintain double-digit growth.

Despite some uncertainties caused by the ongoing pandemic, U.S.-China trade competition, and supply chain bottlenecks, major countries are pushing ahead with infrastructure projects amid a positive outlook for consumption and emerging business opportunities, the ministry said.

Several foreign agencies also predicted that the global economy in 2022 will continue to grow from the high baseline of 2021. Meanwhile, Taiwanese companies are actively installing new production lines, and the semiconductor industry enjoys the advantage of possessing advanced manufacturing processes and capabilities, the ministry says.

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