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Taiwan’s exports rose year-on-year for the 23rd consecutive month in May as emerging technologies and the popularity of digital devices continued to boost global demand, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Wednesday.

A spike in international crude oil and commodity prices pushed up the value of mineral products, such as diesel fuel and gasoline, exported from Taiwan, lending further support to its outbound sales numbers, the MOF said.

The value of exports from Taiwan in May rose 12.5 percent from a year earlier to US$42.08 billion, after an 18.8 percent year-on-year increase in April, according to MOF data, CNA reported.

The May figure was the second highest in the country’s history, trailing only the US$43.50 billion in exports recorded in March 2022, according to the ministry.

Taiwan’s imports rose 26.7 percent year-on-year in May to US$39.68 billion, an all-time high for any month in history, MOF data showed.

That resulted in a trade surplus of US$2.41 billion, down 60.5 percent from a year earlier, the MOF data showed.

In the first five months of 2022, Taiwan’s exports totalled US$204.48 billion, up 20.1 percent from a year earlier.

Imports totalled US$181.41 billion, 26.0 percent higher than a year earlier, leaving a trade surplus over the five-month period of US$23.07 billion, down 12.1 percent from a year earlier.

Electronic components, including semiconductors, remained a key segment of Taiwan’s exports, helped by robust global demand for tech gadgets.

Exports of electronics components, which accounted for 39.7 percent of all of Taiwan’s outbound sales in May, rose 25.9 percent year-on-year to US$16.71 billion, MOF data showed.

Within the sector, semiconductor exports totalled US$15.30 billion in May, up 28.3 percent from a year earlier.

Meanwhile, information and communications and video/audio makers posted exports of US$5.18 billion during the month, up 1.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the MOF.

Exporters of fuels such as diesel and gasoline benefited from soaring product prices and saw their outbound sales surge 119.6 percent from a year earlier to US$2.50 billion, the MOF said.

Machinery was one of the few main categories that saw a year-on-year decline in outbound sales in May, with exports down 1.8 percent at US$2.44 billion, MOF data showed.

By countries

In terms of individual markets, China/Hong Kong remained the largest buyer of Taiwan’s goods in May, accounting for 37.6 percent of Taiwan’s outbound sales. Exports to China/Hong Kong rose 0.8 percent in May to US$15.81 billion.

Asean countries bought US$7.34 billion in goods from Taiwan in May, up 24.0 percent from a year earlier, ahead of the U.S. market, which purchased US$6.28 billion in goods from Taiwan, up 15.5 percent from a year earlier.

Exports to Europe rose 4.7 percent from a year earlier to US$3.60 billion, and exports to Japan were up 18.3 percent to US$2.85 percent in goods, MOF data showed.


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