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Taiwan export orders to fall for seventh month in a row

Taiwan export orders to fall for seventh month in a row

TAIPEI: The Ministry of Economic Affairs on Saturday said that it is to report a year-on-year decline in export orders last month for the seventh consecutive month, amid lingering weak global demand.

The year-on-year decline reflects a relatively high comparison base created in October last year, when export orders totaled US$44.91 billion, up 13.4 percent from a year earlier, the ministry said.

The ministry is scheduled to release last month’s export data on Friday.

Despite the additional year-on-year drop in export orders last month, the ministry said that the figure could grow from September’s US$41.35 billion on the back of the launch of Apple Inc’s latest iPhones, which have spurred strong buying in the global market.

Many Taiwanese high-tech manufacturers are part of Apple’s supply chain. Among them, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, the world’s largest contract electronics maker, serves as an assembler of iPhones and iPads.

Positive effects of the launch of new iPhones has been seen since September, when a year-on-year decline in export orders shrunk to to 4.5 percent from a drop of 8.3 percent recorded in August, the ministry said.

In September, export orders of Taiwan-made information and communication devices outperformed other sectors, registering a 5.4 percent year-on-year increase.

The ministry said that demand for the new iPhones is expected to continue to lend support to last month’s export orders.

However, it said that since the global economy remains haunted by uncertainty, investment worldwide has remained stagnant, which is likely to have an adverse impact on exports in the near future.

Despite strong demand for the new iPhones, sales of low-to-mid-range smartphones have shown signs of slowing down, dealing a blow to Taiwanese exporters, the ministry said.

The ministry added that prices of international crude oil and steel products remain low and that, under such circumstances, exporters are expected to see their orders falling.