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Tool exports up in first 7 months

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's machine tool exports during the first seven months of the year were up slightly from a year earlier, an industry group said Friday, primarily because of the low baseline set in 2013.

Taiwan's machine tool exports totaled US$2.14 billion in the January-July period, 4.4 percent higher than during the same period in 2013, the Taichung-based Taiwan Machine Tool and Accessory Builders' Association (臺灣區工具機暨零組件工業同業公會) said, citing preliminary statistics.

Though the figures represented gains relative to 2013, they did not return to the level set in 2012, when Taiwan's machine tool exports totaled US$2.50 billion in the January-July period and US$4.25 billion for the year as a whole, a record high.

The sector's exports slumped in 2013 due to weak global demand, and that demand has yet to be fully restored.

In July, exports of Taiwan-made machine tools totaled US$326.72 million, down 7.2 percent from the previous month but up 1.6 percent from a year ago, the statistics showed.

Machine tool sales to the United Kingdom rose at a faster annual pace than for any other market in July, soaring 90.3 percent from a year earlier to US$8.51 million.

Exports to the United States also saw strong monthly growth of 63.7 percent to total US$45.47 million, the group said.

Shipments to major trade partner China rose by 3.6 percent year-on-year in July to US$117.34 million, accounting for 34.9 percent of Taiwan's total machine tool exports during the month.

Exports to Germany, meanwhile, dropped 44.7 percent year-on-year to US$9.92 million in July, and exports to Thailand fell 38.9 percent to US$11.15 million during the month, statistics showed.

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