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November exports remain level year-on-year

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Exports in November decreased by 4.7 percent month-on-month but stayed level year-on-year, according to a report released by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) yesterday.

The MOF attributed the decline to weak demand in Asian markets, especially those of the ASEAN-6 countries.

Exports in November amounted to US$24.89 billion, while imports notched US$21.38 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of US$3.51 billion.

Between January and November, exports grew by 0.9 percent, while imports declined 1.1 percent.

Exports Across Product Lines

In terms of product lines, exports of non-electronic products grew substantially compared to a year ago, while exports of electronic products increased slightly, and exports of mineral products, optical instruments, and information and communication technology (ICT) products dropped more than 10 percent.

Exports of plastic products, chemical products, and machinery products grew 9 percent, 9.5 percent and 7.7 percent year-on-year, respectively.

Exports of electronics products climbed 0.3 percent year-on-year, and have grown by less than 1 percent for three consecutive months. MOF Statistics Department Director Yeh Maan-tzwu (葉滿足) pointed out that surplus inventory in supply chains contributed to the slow growth.

Exports of mineral products, optical instruments and ICT products dropped 13.7 percent, 15.6 percent and 15.7 percent, respectively.

Among ICT products, sales in mobile phones were worse than expected, dropping by 25.1 percent. Sales of mobile phones increased 1.6 percent between January and November, however.

Exports by Regions

Exports to mainland China and Hong Kong grew 6.5 percent year-on-year, while exports to ASEAN-6 countries, Japan and South Korea declined substantially, and exports to U.S. and European markets dropped slightly.

While demand from the Chinese market was stronger than expected, demand from ASEAN-6 was weaker than expected, Yeh pointed out, adding that exports of mineral products to ASEAN-6 dropped by 27.6 percent.

Exports to the ASEAN-6 countries — Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia — and Japan declined by 9.3 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively.

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