Exports point to healthier global trade

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 November, 2013, 2:47am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 November, 2013, 2:47am

Fresh data from Japan, Taiwan and the United States signals a pickup in global trade that could help further underpin activity in mainland China's export-oriented factory sector and fuel a gradual recovery in economic growth from a three-year low hit earlier this year.

A surge in car shipments spurred Japanese exports to their biggest annual increase in three years last month, suggesting a gradual rise in global demand will help underwrite a sustainable recovery in Japan's economy.

The 18.6 per cent increase in exports in the year to October blew past the median market forecast for a 16.5 per cent rise and accelerated from an 11.5 per cent gain in September, data by the Ministry of Finance showed yesterday.

Significantly, exports also rebounded in volume terms, rising 4.4 per cent from a year earlier, in a sign the global economy is gradually recovering mainly on strength in advanced nations.

"US private sector demand remains strong and European economies appear to be bottoming out. If advanced economies recover, Japanese exports can rise more," said Takeshi Minami, the chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute.

Taiwan's export orders, meanwhile, climbed for a fourth straight month, fuelled by consumer demand in its key markets, the US and mainland China, that has helped lift the outlook for its technology manufacturers this festive season.

Export orders rose 3.2 per cent from October last year, lifted by strong orders for new mobile devices, Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. Orders from the mainland climbed 3.2 per cent from a year earlier.

US imports from Asia rose 4.1 per cent to 3.5 million containers from a year earlier, the biggest increase since 2011 and the most since the 2007 record, according to PIERS, a unit of US publisher JOC Group that tracks ports data.

Plastic products, fabrics and tyres led gains.

Reuters, Bloomberg