TAIPEI: Taiwan’s already-buoyant exports surged much more than expected in September, growing at the fastest on-year pace in more than seven years, thanks to strong global demand for electronic gadgets at the start of the year-end shopping season. Exports in September rose 28.1 percent from a year earlier, the finance ministry said on Wednesday. That was the fastest growth pace since July 2010, when shipments shot up 38 percent, and more than double the 12.50 percent forecast in a Reuters poll. In the three months prior to September, Taiwan’s exports increased between 12 and 13 percent. The September export total was $28.9 billion, which the ministry called a “new historical high”. Electronic components accounted for $10.18 billion, a level the ministry also described as “historical”. The ministry said a series of global developments, including quicker economic growth and “mobile device innovation upgrades”, benefitted the island’s export momentum.
Taiwan’s robust performance indicates continued strength for Asia exports this year, lifted by improving global demand and electronics. For September, South Korea reported record exports of $55.1 billion, 35 percent above a year earlier. Cheng Yu-liu, an analyst at First Capital Management, said he is raising his forecast for Taiwan’s full-year 2017 export growth to 15-17 percent from 10 percent. He also said the “highest peak” for exports should be in November when there are shipments for the iPhone X, which Apple Corp will start selling that month. Growth in Taiwan’s exports to China in September was 29.6 percent from a year earlier, double the August gain, and shipments to the United States rose 20.6 percent on-year, compared with the previous month’s 7.1 percent pace.
Taiwan’s upbeat performance will shore up confidence the island can achieve its upwardly revised economic growth forecast of 2.11 percent this year. Imports rose 22.2 percent from a year earlier, compared with August’s 6.9 percent. The September trade surplus was $6.69 billion, a record high. The exports picture follows on a private September PMI survey that indicated that Taiwan’s manufacturing sector had robust growth momentum at the end of the third quarter, with strong demand and new orders. Earlier, Taiwan reported export orders for September grew 7.5 percent from a year earlier, weaker than a poll’s median forecast of 8.5 percent.