Taiwan’s exports surged in September, powered by overseas demand for machinery, chemicals and electronics parts for the latest smartphone products.
Exports jumped 28.1% from a year earlier to $28.90 billion, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday. The result came in above a 12.9% gain forecast by economists in a Wall Street Journal survey and a 12.7% increase the previous month.
Some of the analysts polled had flagged data earlier this month showing surprisingly high September exports from South Korea–another exporter closely linked to the technology cycle–as a factor pointing to a better-than-expected outcome, alongside a low basis of comparison in the previous year because of a holiday.
Taiwan’s exports are closely watched as a gauge of the global tech cycle’s strength.
Electronics exports–comprising about a third of the total–increased 20.8%, driven by a 20.5% jump in semiconductor shipments.
Machinery exports logged the biggest gains with a jump of 56.5%, while chemical shipments expanded by 46.6% and basic metals by 34.2%.
The value of shipments to mainland China and Hong Kong, accounting for about 40% of the total, continued to grow, gaining 29.6%. Shipments to Europe expanded 39.9%, while exports to the U.S. rose 20.6%. Exports to Southeast Asia increased by 25.1%.
Imports gained 22.2% to $22.21 billion, rising at a much faster pace than a 10.1% forecast as commodity prices picked up during the month. Imports rose 6.9% in August.
Taiwan’s trade surplus for the month was $6.69 billion, compared with the poll’s $5.86 billion forecast and a $5.71 billion surplus in August.
Source: Dow Jones