The Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced recently that it is cautiously optimistic about Taiwan's exports in the first half of this year, given that a new generation of the iPhone, reported to have a breakthrough innovation, could be a big boost to Taiwan's contract suppliers. In addition, orders for TFT-LCD flat panel display maker AU Optronics have extended into next year, the ministry said.
Exports rose 27.7 percent year-on-year during the month to US$22.66 billion, while imports were up 42.1 percent from the same month of last year to US$19.3 billion. That left a trade surplus of US$3.36 billion for the month, down US$810 million from February last year.
For the first two months of the year, exports were up 16.2 percent to US$46.40 billion, while imports were up 22.7 percent to US$39.55 billion, both the largest increases for the same period in nearly six years. All exports showed positive growth due to continued demand for semiconductors and a low comparison base due to last year's Chinese New Year holiday taking place in February.
Exports of electronic components for the first two months of this year rose 18.9 percent to US$15.18 billion in the first two months of this year, setting a new high for the January-February period, mainly because of the contributions of the integrated circuit sector.
Exports of the base metal industry for the first two months rose 23.2 percent to US$4.31 billion, mineral products jumped 37.4 percent year-on-year to US$2.19 billion, and plastic and rubber products increased 20.4 percent to US$3.41 billion.
Information and communications, audio and video products rose 13 percent to US$4.85 billion in the first two months. Among them, exports of smartphones and phone components jumped by more than 90 percent, while exports of optical equipment rose 21.4 percent to US$1.89 billion.
In the optical equipment sector, exports of camera lenses jumped by more than 40 percent, which might be linked to the unveiling of the iPhone 8.
Source: Focus Taiwan
Lillian Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)