June exports drop to US$24.36 bil.
By Camaron Kao, The China PostThe China Post--The Ministry of Finance (MOF) yesterday announced that exports in June were US$24.36 billion, 3.2 percent less than that of last year and 6.6 percent less than last month.
July 10, 2012, 12:41 am TWN
“This is the fourth consecutive decrease on a year-on-year basis,” stated Department of Statistics Director Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞), citing the European debt crisis, slowing economic growth in China, and severe global competition on information communication technology (ICT) products as the primary reasons.
Exports in July are likely to decline for the fifth time this year on a year-on-year basis since exports last July were US$28.1 billion — the nation's all-time high, according to Lin.
“The MOF expected the number in June to turn positive on a year-on-year basis, and we did not expect the number to be lower than US$25 billion,” stated the director. “This means we are still at the bottom of the economic condition.”
Exports of transportation equipment in June, however, posted an increase of 17.5 percent compared to that of last year.
2012 Exports Worse than DGBAS' Forecast
From January through June, although exports declined by 5.8 percent compared to the same time last year, exports in the first half of this year still posted the second-highest number in Taiwan's history. While exports of ICT products declined by 21 percent on a year-on-year basis, exports of transportation equipment and minerals were 11.7 percent and 8.3 percent higher, respectively, than that of last year. Exports of transportation equipment from January through June were US$5.52 billion, again the highest in history.
The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics (DGBAS) expected exports in the first half of this year to decline by only 3.24 percent compared to that of last year and economic growth in this year to be 3.03 percent. Since the export decline was more severe than expected, the DGBAS might revise its forecast of economic growth.
Europe Exports Low, ASEAN Nations Strong
Exports to Europe in June were US$2.15 billion, the lowest since October 2009. According to Lin, this is because of the decreasing consumption power of European nations.
Exports to Europe and the U.S. decreased by 11.9 percent and 14 percent, respectively, compared to that of last year, which is due to the decline in exports of ICT products.
Exports to six Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries increased by 6.1 percent compared to that of last year. Exports to Japan also increased by 6.7 percent year-on-year because the increase in exports of ICT products.
“Our ICT products faced some trouble in the U.S. and Europe, but these products sold well in Japan, and six ASEAN countries,” said the director.
From January through June, value and the percentage of exports to six ASEAN countries both reached the all time high.
Imports Decline May Reduce Private Investment: Director
Imports of machinery declined in June by 21.6 percent on a year-on-year basis, marking the twelfth yearly decline.
From January through June, imports of capital equipment declined by 15.6 percent, dragged down by declining machinery imports.
“This decline indicates that investment in the near future may not be high,” said the director.
Imports of consumer goods from January through June reached US$11.99 billion, another record high. Imports of cellphones in the period increased by 43.3 percent, while car imports decreased by 15.9 percent.