Exports fall 3% amid weaker chip sales

NO RELIEF IN SIGHT: A 9.9 percent fall in shipments of electronic components showed the weakening demand for smartphones, the Department of Statistics director-general said

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 08, 2019
By: Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Exports last month declined 3 percent to US$28.61 billion (US$928.53 million) from a year earlier as demand for chips used in smartphones softened, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday, adding that relief was not expected in the short term amid US-China trade tensions.

Global technology titans have cut inventory and halted investment, an ominous sign for Taiwan’s export-reliant economy, the ministry said.

“Replacement demand for the newest-generation smartphones was weaker than expected as shown by a 9.9 percent drop in the shipment of electronic components,” Department of Statistics Director-General Beatrice Tsai (蔡美娜) said, adding that a lack of major feature innovations also contributed to lackluster smartphone sales.

Information and technology shipments accounted for about half of overall exports, but Taiwan’s deep participation in the global supply chain makes the nation vulnerable to the lingering US-China trade spat, with the double-digit percentage gain in exports seen in the first half of last year shrinking to a 0.1 percent increase in the fourth quarter, Tsai said.    [FULL  STORY]

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