Jun 09, 2016

    Taiwan exports fall for 16th straight month


    TAIWAN'S exports fell 9.6 per cent last month to mark the 16th consecutive month of decline, surpassing the extension during the 2008 financial crisis.

    Except for the transport sector, which saw a slight growth in exports, all product categories retreated in May, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) reported on Tuesday.

    Exports of plastic products sunk 16.8 per cent from a year earlier to US$1.69 billion (S$2.3 billion).

    Sluggish demand and low product prices were the main reason for the slump.

    Machinery exports also fell 14.3 per cent to US$1.83 billion. Those for optical instruments plummeted 23.5 per cent to US$910 million, as China beefed up the local supply chain and reduced orders from Taiwan manufacturers, the MOF said.

    Exports of metal and related products fell nearly 11 per cent to US$2.1 billion, in the wake of ramped-up production in China and consequently price cuts in the global market.

    Electronics parts and components, Taiwan's bellwether exports, slid 1.6 per cent to US$7.23 billion. Nevertheless, solar cell and integrated circuit exports grew 13.7 per cent and 0.4 per cent, respectively.

    The latter category marked the first turnaround in 12 months, a sign that the semiconductor sector is recovering.

    Asked when the nation will wring itself out of the prolonged export decline, Yeh Maan-tzwu, director-general of the MOF's department of statistics , said a comeback is unlikely to occur next month.