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MOEA forecasts April export orders to show on-year growth

TAIPEI--Taiwan is expected to report a year-on-year increase in export orders for April on the back of rising global demand for handheld devices, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Saturday.

Higher demand in China was part of the uptrend, the MOEA said, noting that vendors there had boosted inventories in preparation for the holiday shopping on May 1, Labor Day.

On May 20, Taiwan is scheduled to release its data for April export orders, which are expected to show an increase from the year earlier level, based on solid demand for electronic gadgets, the ministry said.

In March, Taiwan's export orders rose 5.9 percent year-on-year to US$37.94 billion, marking the second consecutive month of annual growth driven by higher exports of products such as mobile devices and other electronics.

This trend is likely to be reflected in the April export data, with handheld device shipments showing an increase, as international brands have been upgrading their products to spark consumer buying interest, the ministry said.

Taiwan's exports in April were also boosted by higher demand for precision instruments in the lead up to China's Labor Day holiday, according to the MOEA.

In the first three months of the year, Taiwan's export orders totaled US$104.76 billion, up 2.7 percent from the previous quarter and the highest first-quarter figure in recent years.

The electronics sector has been at the forefront of Taiwan's thrust to penetrate the world market, with electronic and information/communications products accounting for almost 50 percent of Taiwan's total export orders in the first quarter and precision instruments making up more than 7 percent.

Sales in the traditional industries have also been picking up amid an economic recovery in the United States and Europe, and the petrochemical/plastics sector, in particular, is expected to see an increase in orders in the coming months as the peak buying season approaches, the ministry said.

According to an MOEA survey, 23.8 percent of Taiwan companies expect their April export orders to show monthly growth, while 17.4 percent are predicting a drop.

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