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May 28, 2017

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Exports in August post 6th straight drop

The China Post--The Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced yesterday that exports in August fell by 4.2 percent year-on-year, marking the sixth consecutive decline this year.

Metal exports were down by 17 percent on a yearly basis in August, dragged down by the 21.2-percent decrease in exports of steel and related products.

Exports of information communication technology (ICT) products decreased by 23.9 percent year-on-year in August, which was caused by a 53.4-percent decrease in cellphone exports.

Taiwan Institute of Economic Research Economic Forecasting Center Director Gordon Sun (孫明德) stated that the export decline of ICT products is in-line with the decreasing sales of a local smartphone manufacturer.

Sun added that the smartphone manufacturer plans to launch a new cellphone later this year, which is likely to boost its sales performance.

Exports of minerals, however, posted a yearly increase of 127.8 percent in August. Polaris Research Institute (寶華綜合經濟研究院) President Liang Kuo-yuan (梁國源) stated that this was due to the low base level resulting from an incident last August concerning Formosa Plastics Group (台塑關係企業), which decreased mineral exports at that time.

Exports of transportation equipment also rose in August, seeing a year-on-year increase of 1.3 percent. Exports of bicycles posted a year-on-year increase of 10.4 percent.

Compared with last month, exports in August declined by 0.6 percent.

Exports to Japan, ASEAN Rise

While exports to most regions in August decreased year-on-year, exports to Japan increased by 2.3 percent on a yearly basis in August, which was supported by the rising export numbers of electronic products.

Exports to ASEAN countries rose by 24.2 percent on a yearly basis in August because of an increase of mineral exports. Singapore replaced Japan as Taiwan's third-largest export market in August.

Compared with last year, from January through August, exports to Singapore and the Philippines rose by 20.6 percent and 21.8 percent, respectively.

Imports Decline by 7.6%

Imports in August declined by 7.6 percent. Imports of capital equipment declined by 4.7 percent year-on-year in August, indicating a decrease in capital investment.

In August, imports of consumer goods posed a yearly decrease of 2.7 percent. Imports of consumer goods from January through August, however, rose by 2.8 percent compared to that of last year.

Among all consumer goods imports in August, those of small vehicles fell by 17.8 percent year-on-year, while imports of cellphones increased by 37.3 percent. Imports of cellphones from January through August increased 47.7 percent compared to last year, posting the greatest increase among all import items.

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