cens logo

Taiwan's Feb. Exports Down 6.7% YoY to US$19.86 Bn. to Drag Down Jan.-Feb. Total

Mar 25, 2015 | By Steve Chuang

Taiwan’s February exports down 6.7% YoY to US$19.86 billion (photo courtesy of UDN.com).Taiwan’s February exports down 6.7% YoY to US$19.86 billion (photo courtesy of UDN.com).

Affected by fewer working days throughout February due to the Lunar New Year break, alongside impacts of recently new lows in crude oil prices on local mining, petroleum and plastic industries, Taiwan witnessed its exports in the month drop by 6.7 percent year-on-year to US$19.86 billion, dragging down the total for the first two months to only US$44.98 billion, 1.3 percent less than the same period of last year, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

Based on the January-February exports, MOF predicts the total for Q1 to drop a yearly 0.49 percent to US$72.95 billion, or, more pessimistically, to fall deeper if monthly exports in March fail to exceed US$28 billion.

MOF admits that March exports in fact will not likely reach the said level, given exports last March only hit the third-highest of US$27.74 billion even without plummeting oil prices as has been seen recently to have squeezed profitability of mining, petroleum and plastic sectors for months. But, MOF officials are still pinning their hopes on possibly rising industrial demand across Asia for new production equipment to drive growth of  Taiwan's exports.

Separately, exports by local mining and chemical sectors during January-February plummeted nearly 50 percent YoY, or an equivalent of about US$2.8 billion, dragging down Taiwan's overall export growth rate by 6.1 percentage points as a result. More notable is that exports by the sectors have been on a downturn for six months, mainly due to weak oil prices, noted MOF.

In contrast, exports by electronics, optoelectronics, machinery and transportation equipment industries, MOF said, all have been steadily recovering for months through February. For instance, the report shows that cumulative exports of electronics and integrated circuits in January through February grew by 8.8 percent and 13.1 percent, respectively, YoY, while those of machinery also soared by 9.5 percent.

Although Taiwan's exports for Q1 are very likely to shrink compared to a year ago, the government's current account has been driven by the explosively growing trade surplus. Citing statistics by Taiwan Customs, MOF notes that while seasonally adjusted exports in February was still 2.8 percent than a year earlier, corresponding imports, nevertheless, dropped deeper by 13.3 percent, leading to a trade surplus of around US$4.56 billion, US$3 billion more than last February.

For the first two months, the cumulative trade surplus hit an all-time high of US$9.36 billion, indicated MOF officials, who added that Taiwan's monthly trade surplus has exceeded US$4 billion for five months in a row.

More Shadows Loom
While incredibly low international oil prices are regarded responsible for Taiwan's declining exports so far, Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) pointed to other headwinds, including tendency among emerging countries toward trade protectionism and gradual slackness in China's domestic market demand, that are likely to cast shadows on Taiwan's export-driven economy in the years ahead.

With the Economist report in January on the growing trade protectionism among emerging countries, BOFT notes, the World Bank also issued its Global Economic Prospects 2015 in the same month to warn that global trade may continue to slow this year, due partly to shrinking market demand in both the U.S. and Europe, and partly to emerging countries' rising awareness for the need to protect local industries from globalization.

Perhaps affected by protectionism, Taiwan's exports to the ASEAN bloc composed of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Brunei showed a 9.4 percent YoY decline, or an equivalent of US$390 million, to US$3.75 billion in February, compared to a 15.2 percent and 12.7 percent growth to the U.S. and Japan, respectively. BOFT states that exports to the regional market have dropped for three consecutive months.

Also notable is that exports to China (including Hong Kong) totaled US$7.01 billion in the month, sharply down 17.3 percent YoY, to which BOFT officials attribute mainly weak market demand there, reflected in the Chinese government's report showing that the country's consumer spending during this year's Chinese New Year holiday (February 18-24) totaled only RMB678 billion (US$135.6 billion) for a 11 percent growth over a year ago, which was weaker than 13.3 percent and 14.7 percent growths in 2014 and 2013, respectively.

Taiwan's Jan.-Feb. 2015 Exports by Destination
Jan.-Feb. Exports
YoY Growth Rate
Main Product Categories
China and Hong Kong
US$17.35 Bn.
Electronics, machinery, transpiration equipment
US$7.96 Bn.
The U.S.
US$5.36 Bn.
Base metals, ICT products, transportation equipment
US$4.03 Bn.
Transportation equipment
US$3.21 Bn.
Source: Ministry of Finance

Industry Reports

K, the leading global plastic and rubber trade fair (Photo courtesy of Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann)

K, The World's Leading Trade Fair for Plastic and Rubber Industry

Jul 24, 2020

2019 K Show, the leading global trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry, had been held in Düsseldorf on 16-23 October, 2019. There were 3,330 exhibitors from 63 nations proved impressively: plastics continue to be an innovative, indispensable material. But they also unanimously underscored the necessity of having operational circular economies along the complete material chain and to this...

Photo courtesy of CENS

Digital Healthcare & Technology at the Heart of Las Vegas CES 2020

Jul 14, 2020

■ Hubert Chih The number of healthcare exhibitors at the 2020 CES in Las Vegas increased significantly by 23% from 2019. According to the analysis and report by the CES organizer, digital healthcare and technology were the focus in the healthcare exhibition. In addition to the continued expansion of healthcare coverage, the reduction of healthcare costs, the improvement of effectiveness and th...

The Taiwan Hardware Show sees global buyer attendance. (Photo provided by Kaigo Co.)

Taiwan's Hand Tools Seeking Opportunities Amid Global Crisis

Jul 10, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, most of the international hardware shows slated for this year has been moved to 2021. However, as Taiwan’s efforts combating the new virus has proven to be successful, the 2020 Taiwan Hardware Show (THS) will continue as scheduled, beginning on Oct. 13 and ending on the 15th at the Taichung International Exhibition Center, thus becoming the only sh...

Industry In-Focus

SINOSTEEL Corporation: Rising price in Steel</h2>

SINOSTEEL Corporation: Rising price in Steel

Jun 05, 2020

Brazil’s new crown pneumonia epidemic has rapidly increased. Brazil’s Vale, the world’s largest iron ore producer, is facing an out-of-control impact. The market is worried that iron ore production and sales will be affected. new highs. Experts from Sinosteel (2002) evaluated that steel prices will rise steadily under the effect of rising costs, with a promising outlook. According to a legal p...

Apple Invests Millions in LED Plant in Taiwan</h2>

Apple Invests Millions in LED Plant in Taiwan

Jun 01, 2020

Apple is considering to invest over US$330 million in a factory in northern Taiwan to manufacture both LED and micro-LED displays for its iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and other new devices. Apple is teaming up on the new factory with Epistar, Taiwan's top LED producer, and Taiwanese LCD panel maker, AU Optronics. The plant will be located in the Longtan branch of the Hsinchu Science Park and Appl...

Taiwan Machinery Was Applauded in COVID-19</h2>

Taiwan Machinery Was Applauded in COVID-19

May 18, 2020

What the epidemic showed was the amazing flexibility of Taiwan's machine tool industry. Taiwan, which has allowed the semiconductor industry to specialize in the past, has finally realized that these machine tool industries with amazing strength are the "invisible champions" of Taiwan's economy. In early February, three companies -- Habor Precision, Tongtai Machine & Tool and Taiwan Takisawa -...

Supplier News

With professional technics and rigorous quality control, Kung Hsing gains high-reputation in the industry</h2>

With professional technics and rigorous quality control, Kung Hsing gains high-reputation in the industry

Jul 23, 2020

Kung Hsing Plastic Machinery Co., LTD., founded in 1972, is the brainchild of the company President Tsai Chin-lien’s over 48 years of experience in designing and producing extrusion machines. The firm stood by its belief to uphold integrity and offer the best quality and services, eventually becoming a leader in the extrusion machinery industry in Taiwan. Kung Hsing currently has two factories; t...




Jul 21, 2020

■ Tseng Lung-nan Intype Enterprise has built up 55 years of experience in producing extruders, though the firm is placing greater consideration on rapidly degrading of the global environment. In the past 20 years, Intype has become an active contributor to building up a global ecosystem, enabling them to reuse the products manufactured by their own extruders and avoid further waste. The firm t...


YFCM Carbon Fiber Driveshaft Lauded in the field of Modified Cars for its Flexibility </h2>

YFCM Carbon Fiber Driveshaft Lauded in the field of Modified Cars for its Flexibility

Jul 14, 2020

■Hsiao Yung-le Yifeng Technology Co., Ltd. specializes in the research and development of carbon fiber transmission shafts and the manufacture of carbon fiber related products.The carbon fiber material has the characteristics of lightweight, impact resistance, fatigue resistance, and corrosion, and chemical stability is quite high. The product type is increasing in the extensive range with an ...


Insiders' Views

Caption: Pictured from front row, third right, Changhua County Government Economic Affairs Department Director Liu Yu-ping, County Magistrate Wang Huei-mei, Secretary Chen Bo-tsun pose in front of the exhibition booth. (Photo provided by CHCIA)

Changhua County Government Shores up Biz-Matching to Global Buyers

Nov 18, 2019

■Yang Feng-Chun In a bid to assist manufacturers in Changhua County to expand their market reach overseas against severe competition in the globalized market, Changhua County Government has been an active player in pushing for a makeover and innovation of its local small and medium-sized enterprises. This is done in hopes of establishing stronger connection with international markets. An ex...

Paul Master offers high-quality chassis and engines parts for passenger cars, trucks, and industrial trucks. (Photo courtesy of Paul Master)

Paul Master Builds Reputation with Auto Chassis and Engine Parts

Nov 18, 2019

Founded in 1980, Paul Master Auto Parts Co. is headquartered in Taiwan, a professional manufacturer of chassis and engines parts for passenger cars, trucks, and industrial trucks including forklifts. General Manager Terry Liang said the company has its own professional design department, which provides customized products and specifications for global buyers, including automobile steering and...


Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.</h2><p class='subtitle'>Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd. </p>

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.

Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd.

Sep 04, 2019

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd is one of the major manufacturers of automobile friction materials in Taiwan and globally. Chairman Austin Cheng has implemented the double-arrow strategy this year - own brand of “YangPo” is adopted to focus on global channels while the “NHC brand focuses on improving market shares in global markets, such as Europe, America, Asia, Australia, and the Middle E...

Exhibition Highlights

Koelnmesse (Beijing) Co., Ltd.

Announcement on Postponement of China International Hardware Show 2020 (CIHS 2020)

Jul 10, 2020

In view of the continuous spreading of COVID-19 all over the world and the latest epidemic prevention requirements of China and the government of Shanghai, in order to guarantee the health and safety of exhibitors, purchasers and professional visitors, China National Hardware Association and Koelnmesse have prudently decided to postpone China International Hardware Show 2020 (CIHS 2020) from Augu...

Automechanika Shanghai 2020 creates channels for cross-sector collaboration</h2>

Automechanika Shanghai 2020 creates channels for cross-sector collaboration

Jun 16, 2020

This year, Automechanika Shanghai continues to serve the entire automotive value chain by offering opportunities for information exchange, marketing, trade and education. Both vertically and horizontally, from OE, vehicle production to the aftermarket, it incorporates all elements of manufacturing, supply networks, services, new business models and information technology. Companies across the...

Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd

CAPAS defers to 2021

Apr 20, 2020

Following the Chinese Government’s initiatives to prevent and control the COVID-19 outbreak, the organisers of the Chengdu International Trade Fair for Automotive Parts and Aftermarket Services (CAPAS) have announced the defer of the show’s 2020 edition. The fair, originally scheduled from 21 to 23 May 2020, will now be held from 20 to 22 May 2021. In China, the State Council issued an announc...