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Taiwan export orders slump 26%

Taiwan’s export orders fell the most in 14 years in March, and by more than expected, as slowing global growth continued to weigh on demand for electronics.

The island’s export orders, a bellwether for global technology demand, contracted 25.7 per cent from a year earlier to $46.58 billion, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Thursday.

That marked the seventh straight month of contraction and the sharpest decline since February 2009, it added. March’s number lagged analysts’ expectations for a 20.0 per cent decline and was worse than February’s 18.3 per cent slide.

“The contraction was due to the global economic slowdown triggered by inflation and interest rate hikes, weak end demand, and continued inventory digestion by customers,” the ministry said.

Orders for telecommunications products dropped 26.3 per cent and electronic products fell 29.4 per cent from a year earlier, it said.

The ministry reiterated previous warnings that persistently high inflation and rising interest rates, along with the global repercussions of the war between Russia and Ukraine, could continue to impede economic growth momentum in the months ahead. But the ministry also restated its belief that those negative factors could be offset by positive factors such as renewed demand for emerging technologies like AI, high-performance computing, cloud data centres, and automotive electronics.

The downward trend in orders is expected to continue until the fourth quarter, the government said earlier this month.

The ministry added that it expected export orders in April to fall by 17.1 per cent to 21 per cent from a year earlier.

Taiwan’s March orders from China were 33.8 per cent lower than a year earlier, compared with a 35.5 per cent drop in February. GulfToday

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