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Taiwan’s exports, including electronics & semiconductors continue to fall

Taiwan’s exports fell for a ninth consecutive month in May, although meeting expectations, in a symptom of anaemic demand for the island’s tech products from China and global markets, with matters not expected to improve until the third quarter.

Exports last month were down 14.1% in value on the year, at $36.13 billion, the finance ministry said on Wednesday. That was slightly worse than an annual fall of 13.3% in April and in line with a Reuters poll forecast for a 14.4% contraction.

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Total shipments of electronic components in May fell 9.9% from the year before to $15.05 billion, with semiconductor exports down 8.0%, the ministry said.

The outlook remains dim, the ministry said, adding that it expected June exports to shrink between 14% and 16.5% on year.

A pick-up in exports may not occur until September at the earliest or as late as November, it added.

Firms such as TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, are major suppliers to Apple Inc, Nvidia and other global tech giants, besides providing chips for auto companies and lower-end consumer goods.

United Microelectronics Corp, a smaller competitor of TSMC’s, reported on Tuesday that May sales dropped 23.1% on the year.

At $12.74 billion in May, Taiwan’s exports to China were down 19.4%, after the prior month’s drop of 22.0% on an annual basis.

Earlier on Wednesday, China reported that its May exports shrank much faster than expected as global demand faltered.

Taiwan’s finance ministry has said global inflation and monetary tightening in major economies would continue to crimp external demand, coupled with risks such as the war in Ukraine and China-U.S. trade tension.

Exports to the United States fell 3.5% in May, after slumping an annual 10.3% in April.

Taiwan’s May imports, often seen as a leading indicator of re-exports of finished products, fell 21.7% to $31.25 billion. That compared with economists’ forecast of a 20.8% decline and a 20.2% fall in April. Reuters

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