Taiwan April exports fall for 6th month in a row amid global slowdown

09, May. 2019

TAIPEI, NNA – Slowing global growth caused by the U.S.-China trade row continued to dampen Taiwan’s economy in April, when exports posted a year-on-year drop for the sixth straight month.

In the first four months of the year, exports fell 4.0 percent from a year earlier, while imports were flat, data from the Ministry of Finance released Tuesday showed.

Key points:

―― Exports fell 3.3 percent in April from a year earlier, coming in weaker than the consensus economist forecast of a 3.1 percent drop. The decrease was led by chemicals, plastics and rubber as well as base metals and products. However, the pace of decline decelerated from -4.4 percent in March and -8.8 in February.

―― Imports rose 2.6 percent on year on purchases of chip making equipment and shale oil, after +6.6 percent in March.

―― The trade surplus came to 82.7 billion New Taiwan dollars ($2.69 billion), narrowing 31.8 percent from a year earlier.

―― Exports to primary markets dropped (China and Hong Kong combined -8.8 percent and Japan -5.7 percent), except for those to the United States (+21.5 percent). Taiwan’s January-to-April exports to the U.S. and Japan both increased at a record pace of 19.9 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.


―― External demand remained slow despite potential business opportunities in areas such as fifth generation communications technology, automobile electronics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and high-performance computing.

―― Taiwan is expected to see continued weak exports through the first half of the year in light of an extended life cycle of high-end smart phones and uncertainty over the U.S.-China trade dispute.