November 20, 2020
TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s export orders rose for the eighth consecutive month in October, boosted by strong global demand for the island’s tech products, with Apple Inc <AAPL.O> rolling out a new iPhone.
Export orders, a bellwether of global technology demand, in October jumped 9.1% from a year earlier to $51.6 billion, Ministry of Economic Affairs data showed on Friday. The data exceeded an 8.2% rise projected in a Reuters poll.
The ministry said orders were helped by new smartphone launches ahead of the year-end holiday season, as well as continued robust demand for telecommuting products as many people are forced to work and study from home globally during the pandemic. Orders for electronics rose 17.5% on year, mostly due to new smartphones and gaming consoles coming to market and work-from-home demand, the ministry added.
Taiwanese firms such as Foxconn <2354.TW> and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) <2330.TW> <TSM.N> are key suppliers to Apple, which last month launched its next-generation iPhone 12, with faster 5G connectivity. Taiwan usually sees strong electronics orders in the third and fourth quarters ahead of the year-end holiday season when vendors launch new smartphone models.
The ministry expects export orders to rise between 14.5% and 17.9% in November, fuelled by new consumer electronics products from major global brands coming to market, though it warned of uncertainly about rising number of COVID-19 cases globally and lingering concerns over the U.S.-China tensions. U.S. orders in October rose 17.1% from a year earlier, compared with 11.1% growth in September, while those from China went up 10.7% versus a 31% gain the previous month.
European orders fell 0.1%, while those from Japan soared 18.6%. Taiwan’s economy grew at its fastest pace in more than two years in the third quarter after a steep contraction earlier this year, as strong global demand for its tech exports and returning consumer confidence eased the hit from the pandemic.
(Reporting by Jeanny Kao and Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Yimou Lee; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)