Taiwan’s Exports Hit Record High on 5G and Holiday Demand
Components sit on circuit boards on display at the Semicon Taiwan exhibition show in Taipei, Taiwan. (Photographer: Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg)

Taiwan’s Exports Hit Record High on 5G and Holiday Demand

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Taiwan exported a record amount in January, fueled by rising demand for computer chips and by companies rushing to get components ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays in February.

Shipments surged almost 37% to $34.3 billion, the most in data going back to 1981. Imports also hit a record over the same period, up almost 30%, according to data released Monday by the Ministry of Finance in Taipei.

Taiwan’s Exports Hit Record High on 5G and Holiday Demand

Taiwan’s economy was one of the strongest performers globally in 2020, with quick domestic suppression of Covid-19 and booming overseas demand for its goods driving strong exports and company profits. That trend looks to be extending into 2021.

Although some of the rebound was due to the holidays, the underlying momentum remains strong, said Michelle Lam, an economist at Societe Generale SA in Hong Kong, who recently raised her forecast for Taiwan’s economic growth for this year to 3.8%.

“The shipment of tech products continued to pick up sharply due to accelerated digitalization and structural drivers such as 5G,” Lam said. “Traditional products have also benefit from recovering commodity prices.”

Exports above $30 billion a month have been the “new normal” for the past few months, driven by 5G equipment and high-performance computing, according to the Finance Ministry’s statistics director Beatrice Tsai. That trend will be briefly interrupted this month due to the holidays but will resume after February, she said in a briefing in Taipei.

Read more: Taiwan Jan. Exports to China & HK +57% Y/y; By Country

Exports to China rose almost 51% from a year earlier, although that was affected by the fact that the Lunar New Year holiday fell in January last year, suppressing demand then.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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