Taiwan export growth seen slowing


    TAIPEI- Taiwan’s exports likely grew at a slower pace in December, after beating expectations with a 3.3 percent on-year increase in the prior month, according to a Reuters poll.

    Taiwan is one of Asia’s major exporters, especially of technology goods, and its export trend is a key gauge of global demand for gadgets worldwide.

    Exports are expected to have increased 1.7 percent from a year earlier, compared with a growth of 3.3 percent in November.

    The trade-reliant island’s inflation rate in December is estimated to stand at 0.88 percent, the highest in seven months, according to the median forecast of 12 analysts surveyed by Reuters.

    Taiwan’s economic outlook has improved on better global demand for electronics and as some manufacturers move factories from China back to Taiwan to avoid higher US tariffs on Chinese-made goods.

    However, Taiwan’s November export orders dropped for the 13th straight month and at a faster pace, with the government blaming weak market demand and “disruption” from the China-US trade war despite signs of a pick-up in global demand for electronics.

    Meanwhile, Malaysia’s exports dropped for the fourth straight month in November, contracting 5.5 percent from a year earlier on lower shipments of manufactured goods and commodities, government data showed on Friday.

    The pace of decline was faster than the 4.4 percent drop forecast by analysts surveyed in a Reuters poll, though slower than the 6.7 percent fall recorded in October.

    Shipments of manufacturing goods, which accounted for 85 percent of November’s total exports, fell 2.8 percent on-year on lower demand for electrical and electronic goods, petroleum, chemical, and metal products, data from the international trade and industry ministry showed.

    Mining and agricultural exports also declined on lower shipments of liquefied natural gas, palm oil and palm oil-based products.

    Exports to major markets including Southeast Asia, Japan and Hong Kong declined in November, but exports to China – Malaysia’s biggest trading partner – advanced 4.1 percent, recovering after a drop in the previous month.

    Shipments to the United States were also up 6.5 percent on-year, according to the data.

    Malaysia’s imports in November fell 3.6 percent from a year earlier, slower than the 8.7 percent decline seen in October.

    The country reports trade data in ringgit.

    The trade surplus in November narrowed sharply to 6.5 billion ringgit ($1.59 billion) from 17.3 billion ringgit in the previous month. – Reuters