Taiwan Jan-June exports to U.S. surge 17% amid U.S.-China trade spat

31, Jul. 2019

TAIPEI, NNA – Taiwan’s exports to the United States rose 17.4 percent in the first six months of 2019 on orders of computer electronics and optical products switched from China to avoid higher U.S. tariffs.

Taiwan’s exports to the world dipped 3.4 percent in the January-June period.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs on Monday released a report on the impact of the U.S.-China trade dispute.

Key points:

―― Exports to the U.S. totaled to $22 billion in January-June, a 17.4 increase from the same period last year, the largest since 2014, when half-year data became available. This compared with +7.0 percent in the 2018 second half and +8.2 percent in the first half.

―― U.S. companies are switching orders from Chinese suppliers to Taiwanese makers. Taiwanese manufacturers are also moving some capacity from the mainland to Taiwan.

―― Products in the Section 301 U.S. trade sanctions list accounted for 77.5 percent of Taiwan’s total shipments to the U.S., compared to 23.5 percent in January-June 2018.

―― In June alone, exports to the U.S. also jumped 18.5 percent on year after rising 8.6 percent in May, while shipments to the world were up just 0.5 percent after posting a 4.8 percent drop the previous month.

―― Domestic production of computer electronics and optical products had shown signs of a pickup in the second half of 2018 and gained 16.5 percent in dollar terms in the first six months of this year. Shipments of products in the U.S. Section 301 list surged 90.1 percent, contributing 82 percent of overall exports to the U.S.

―― Output of power supply equipment and mechanical equipment decreased 10.5 percent and 13.2 percent, respectively, in the first half of 2019, but those listed in Section 301 list and shipped to the U.S. grew 16.2 percent and 8.9 percent.

Takeaway:

―― Investment from overseas in Taiwanese firms and relocation of China production lines back to Taiwan are expected to propel industrial production, exports and employment, helping to drive economic growth, the ministry said.