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Strong electronics sales reported in Taiwan

Taiwan’s export orders contracted slightly though at a less severe rate than expected in September, coming off a high base and supported by strong sales of new consumer electronics products like iPhones.

The government said momentum for the rest of the year would be helped by the year-end holiday season in Europe and the United States, traditionally the high point for export orders. But it highlighted uncertainties like global inflation, the war in Ukraine and China’s lockdowns to contain COVID-19.

Export orders, a bellwether for global technology demand, shrank 3.1% in September from a year earlier to $60.93 billion, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Thursday, though still the second-highest figure on record for the month. Analysts had expected a drop of 5.5%.

September’s fall followed a 2% annual expansion in August.

Orders for telecommunications products rose 5% in September from a year ago due mostly to smartphone orders for “international brands”, the ministry said. Apple Inc, which many Taiwanese firms make components for, put its latest iPhones on sale last month.

Orders for electronic products jumped 6%, driven by demand for high-end computing, automobiles and stockpiling for new consumer electronics, the ministry said.

Orders for telecommunications products and electronics including chips both hit record highs for the month.

A trend of working and studying from home that started during the COVID-19 pandemic has fuelled a growth in orders for Taiwanese electronics for more than two years. More recently, a global semiconductor shortage has also filled Taiwanese chipmakers’ order books.

The ministry said it expected this month’s export orders to be between 1% and 3.6% lower than those of October 2021.

Taiwanese companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd are major suppliers to Apple, Qualcomm Inc and other global tech firms.

Taiwan’s September orders from China plummeted 27.9% from a year earlier, compared with an annual fall of 25.5% in August. Month-on-month orders from China edged up 3.8%.

Taiwan’s orders from the United States rose 2.8% from a year earlier, a slower pace compared with the previous month’s 7.5% rise, but still hitting an all-time high for the month.

Export orders from Europe rose 9.6% to a new high, versus an annual rise of 14.6% in August. Orders from Japan expanded 5%. Reuters

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