TAIPEI, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Taiwan’s export orders contracted for a 14th straight month in October but the decline was the smallest in a year as China demand picked up, and the government said growth could resume from November.
Export orders last month fell 4.6% from a year ago to $52.87 billion, in line with expectations and much milder than the 15.6% drop in September.
Orders for goods from the island, home to tech giants such as chip manufacturer TSMC 2330.TW, are an indicator of global technology demand.
In a sign that the outlook is brightening, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said it expects export orders in November to expand between 1.7% and 5.7% from a year earlier but added it remains uncertain about whether there will be growth in December.
Export orders will be helped by the traditional year-end holiday shopping season in Western markets, it said but also noted that the wars in Ukraine and Israel, inflation and interest rate hikes “may inhibit the momentum of global trade growth”.
Weak demand for Taiwan’s technology products amid global economic uncertainty has prompted the government to forecast that the export-dependent economy will grow at its slowest pace in eight years in 2023.
But speaking to reporters earlier on Monday at a separate event, Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua said there was a “great opportunity” for Taiwan’s economy to rebound and grow 3% next year given booming demand for AI applications.
Taiwan’s orders in October for telecommunications products fell 5.2% and electronic products dipped 0.3% from a year earlier, the ministry said.
Orders from China climbed 1.2%, improving from a 1.6% fall in the prior month. Orders from the United States contracted 1.4% versus a 16.1% drop in September.
But orders from Europe plummeted 45.8%, not much better than September’s 46.5% drop.
From Japan, orders shrank 17.6% last month, narrowing from a 24.7% contraction in September.
(Reporting by Emily Chan and Faith Hung; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
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