Taiwan April export orders grow at fastest pace in 2 years

By Thomson Reuters May 20, 2024 | 3:41 AM

By Roger Tung and Faith Hung

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s export orders rose more than expected and at the quickest pace in two years in April, with the government optimistic about the potential future demand for the island’s tech products from the growing artificial intelligence industry.

Export orders last month jumped 10.8% from a year earlier, the biggest leap since March 2022, to $47.1 billion, the economy ministry said on Monday, topping the 4.5% gain forecast in a Reuters poll. Orders had edged up 1.2% in March.

Orders for goods from Taiwan, home to tech giants such as chip manufacturer TSMC, are a bellwether of global technology demand.

The ministry cited risks ahead including the impact of high interest rates in the United States and Europe, China-U.S. trade disputes and broader geopolitical uncertainty.

Despite those risks, “high-performance computing and accelerating expansion of new applications such as AI boost solid demand for our semiconductor and servers supply chain,” the economy ministry said in a statement.

“That is expected to boost growth momentum of export orders.”

Looking ahead, the ministry said it expects that export orders in May would rise between 1.8% and 6.2% on-year.

Taiwan’s orders in April for telecommunication products rose 8.4% from the prior year, while electronic products jumped 22.7% on year, it said.

Orders from China rose 16.3% versus a 7.7% jump in the prior month. Orders from the United States were up 11.8%, improving from a 2.2% decline logged in March.

Orders from Europe slipped 0.2%, also improving from March’s 6.2% fall.

From Japan, orders dropped 10.5% last month, versus a contraction of 18% in March.

(Reporting by Faith Hung and Roger Tung; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)