Apple orders help boost Taiwan’s exports by 12.5 per cent

Island’s exports grew for tenth month amid surge in US orders

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 August, 2017, 7:32am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 August, 2017, 7:32am

Taiwan’s exports in July expanded for a 10th straight month, as factories rushed to meet orders for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 and US shipments surged.

The stronger-than-expected per­formance bodes well for Taiwan’s economy, setting it up to meet the government’s 2.05 per cent growth target and giving its central bank leeway to leave interest rates unchanged at its quarterly meeting next month.

Exports in July rose 12.5 per cent from a year earlier, expanding for the 10th consecutive month, the finance ministry said on Monday. That beat the 8.9 per cent forecast in a Reuters poll and was roughly flat against 13 per cent growth in June.

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July imports also increased, rising 6.5 per cent compared with June’s 3.7 per cent, resulting in a trade surplus of US$5.37 billion.

“The global economy is recovering at a stable pace, orders are coming in from international cell phone brands, while demand for non-electronics products is also picking up, and there was a lower base effect,” the ministry said in a statement, referring to the comparative base of July 2016.

July’s export value was US$27.11 billion, the highest since December 2014, the ministry said, adding that exports were expected to grow year on year in the third and fourth quarters this year.

Apple recently delivered surprisingly strong third-quarter earnings and signalled that its 10th anniversary phone line-up was on schedule, boosting expectations of increasing shipments from its Taiwanese suppliers.

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Taiwan is one of Asia’s major exporters, especially of technological goods, and its export trend is an important gauge of global demand for technology gadgets.

Leading indicators such as the Nikkei/Markit Taiwan Purchasing Managers’ Index have shown Taiwan’s factories gathered pace in July on robust export demand.

Annual exports in July to the mainland and the United States, Taiwan’s two biggest markets, jumped 11.7 per cent and 18.7 per cent, respectively. That compared with 21 per cent and 7 per cent in June. Some analysts were bullish about prospects in August.