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Despite supply chain snarls, Taiwan's export growth remained stable in May, with a bright outlook

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - Despite China's harsh COVID-19 lockdowns, Taiwan 's exports grew for the 23rd month in a row in M...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - Despite China's harsh COVID-19 lockdowns, Taiwan's exports grew for the 23rd month in a row in May on the strength of continuous demand for technology, and the government said the prognosis remained positive even as the Ukraine war and inflation cast shadows on demand.

Exports increased 12.5 percent year over year to $42.08 billion in May, according to the Ministry of Finance, the second highest monthly amount on record.

This was lower than the 18.8% increase seen in April, but it was close to the 13 percent increase predicted in a Reuters poll of analysts for the month.

Even though China's rigorous COVID-19 lockdowns "disrupted some export momentum," the government attributed the gain in May to robust technology demand.

Exports to China, Taiwan's largest commercial partner, increased by 0.8 percent on an annual basis to $15.81 billion in May, down drastically from a 10.6 percent increase in April, while numerous cities remained under lockdown. In recent weeks, China has begun to loosen virus restrictions in some areas, but analysts say the country's zero-tolerance COVID policy is a key risk factor that could last into next year.

Beatrice Tsai, a ministry official, told reporters that China's demand had not evaporated, but had been "postponed," and that now that the country is opening up again, it will promote June shipments.

May shipments to Southeast Asia increased by 24% year over year to a record high, owing to enterprises shifting production from China due to the lockdowns, according to Tsai.

In May, total electronics component exports increased by 25.9% to $16.71 billion, with semiconductor shipments up 28.3% year over year.

Many companies predict worldwide chip shortages to remain for the rest of the year, which will keep Taiwanese semiconductor producers busy.

TSMC, the world's largest contract chipmaker, is a significant supplier of semiconductors to Apple Inc. and other global IT giants, as well as automakers and lower-end consumer devices.

The finance ministry warned of uncertainties about the Ukraine conflict and inflationary pressures, but said the forecast for semiconductors for applications such as the car sector remained positive.

Exports to the United States increased by 15.5 percent, less than the previous month's 26.6 percent increase.

On Thursday, China will announce its May trade data.

After a 26.7 percent gain in April, Taiwan's imports surged 26.7 percent to $39.68 billion in May, a new high and better than experts' projections of a 19.75 percent growth.

According to the finance ministry, Taiwanese exports could climb by 11 to 15% in June compared to the same month last year.

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