Taiwan’s July Exports Hit Record on Surging Tech Shipments
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Taiwan’s exports started the second half of 2021 as it ended the first, growing at an unrelenting pace fueled by overseas demand for computer chips and electronic components, reflecting strengthening optimism the post-Covid global recovery is taking hold.
Taiwan’s overseas shipments rose 34.7% in July from a year earlier to $37.95 billion, according to a statement Monday from Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance. That was the highest for any month in data back to 1981. Total imports rose 41% to $32.05 billion, leaving a $5.9 billion trade surplus.
Taiwan’s economy grew faster than expected in the second quarter, mainly fueled by a surprising growth in export demand which offset the impact of island-wide Covid-19 restrictions. Gross domestic product grew 7.47% in the second quarter from a year earlier, official data showed, beating the median estimate of 6.65% in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
“Exports in July were very strong as shipments for electronic components have grown rapidly despite the high base period last year,” said Woods Chen, chief economist at Yuanta Invest Consulting. “This shows long-term widespread demand for electronic products including automotive electronics, which will continue to drive Taiwan’s export growth for a period of time.”
Shipments this month are expected to be between $37.4 billion and $38.8 billion, Beatrice Tsai, director general of the statistics department, said Monday after the data was released.
Taiwan’s manufacturers noted sales were rising due to stronger client demand, particularly in Europe, China and the U.S., as the impact of COVID-19 weakened, IHS Markit wrote in a report last week. Exports to mainland China and the U.S. both rose by more than 20% from a year earlier in July, while shipments to Japan, South Korea and Singapore were all up more than 40%.
The government forecasts full-year economic growth at 5.58%, higher than its original estimate of 5.46%, after seeing better-than-expected results.
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