Taiwan’s export orders contracted at the worst rate in more than a decade in November, hit by a plunge in global demand.
The island’s export orders were 23.4% lower than a year earlier at $50.14 billion, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Tuesday. That was significantly higher than analysts’ expectations of a 11.2% decline.
November’s drop is the steepest since March 2009, when the fall was 24.3% – followed October’s annual contraction of 6.3%. November was the third month to show an annual drop.
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The ministry said it expected export orders this month to be lower than in December 2021 by between 27.8% and 30.8%.
Taiwan’s export orders are a leading indicator of the demand for technology globally.
November orders for Taiwan-made telecom products plummeted 30.5% from a year earlier because of weaker consumer demand, especially in China because of Covid controls, but also came off a high base, the ministry said.
Orders for electronic products fell 15.2%, though the decline was offset by demand for chips for high-performance computing, 5G and automobiles, the ministry said.
While semiconductor demand and stockpiling ahead of January’s Lunar New Year holiday in East Asia would help orders, there were also big uncertainties ahead, including the fresh surge of Covid cases in China, it added.
Taiwanese firms, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, are major suppliers to Apple, Qualcomm and other global tech companies.
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena
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