TAIPEI, March 9 Reuters Taiwans exports rose in February for the eighth month in a row, slightly slower than expected but benefiting from continued strong demand for chips to power technology for the workfromhome COVID19 pandemic boom.
Exports rose 9.7 from a year earlier to 27.79 billion in February, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday, affected by the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday that occurred last month.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a rise of 10.5 for February, compared with a 36.8 jump in January.
The ministry attributed the growth to brisk demand for chips and panels, with laptops logging an annual expansion of 68.7 last month, as millions of people are forced to work and study remotely on smartphones, tablets and other technology.
5G and auto chip demand also helped drive February exports, it added. Car companies have been scrambling for chips, many of which are made in Taiwan.
Apple Inc, for which firms such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd are major suppliers, launched its nextgeneration iPhone 12 with faster 5G connectivity in September.
The ministry expected exports to steadily expand in the first and second quarters, helped by Taiwans semiconductor prowess, though it warned of uncertainly from global efforts to contain the pandemic.
Exports to China, Taiwans largest trading partner, jumped an annual 14.8 to 11.26 billion, while exports to the United States also grew 14.8 on year.
Taiwans government last month revised up…