Taipei, Dec. 10, 2012 (CENS)--Taiwan's exports inched up 0.9% year-on-year to US$24.89 billion in November, reported the Ministry of Finance (MOF) on Dec. 7.
Yeh Man-tsu, chief statistician of the MOF, expected exports to maintain growth in December and keep growing at a slow pace in 2013, ruling out a strong upturn, though, just like “a patient with chronic disease cannot recover instantly.”
Yeh remarked that the nation's export performance is worse than expected in November, as the value dropped below the US$25 billion mark. She blamed the outcome on sluggish exports of basic metals and products, which decreased by US$370 million sequentially to the lowest level in three years. Another culprit is optical devices, whose exports tumbled by US$220 million, compared to the October level.
Yeh was optimistic about export performance in December, as information and communications technology industry, especially handheld devices, has shown signs of recovery, and mineral products continue to growth. Another reason is low comparison base last December.
Upturn in the fourth quarter, however, cannot reverse the poor export performance for the whole year. In the first 11 months of 2012, exports slipped 3.3% year-on-year to US$275.01 billion and exports for the whole year will decline certainly.
Taiwan's exports underperformed neighboring Asian countries, including South Korea, whose exports declined 0.8% in the first 11 months, and Japan, with 1% export decline in the first 10 months. Singapore, Hong Kong, and mainland China all racked up positive export growth.
Yeh noted that some Taiwanese industries, such as flat panel display (FPD) and chemical, suffered from slackened demand from mainland China. The mainland plans to boost the self-supply rate of TV panel to 80% by 2015, testing the technological competitiveness and strategic deployment of Taiwan's FPD industry, according to Yeh.
(by Philip Liu)