TAIPEI, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Taiwan’s export orders rose for the ninth consecutive month in November and at the quickest pace in a decade, boosted by continued strong global demand for the island’s technology products, with Apple Inc rolling out a new iPhone.
Export orders, a bellwether of global technology demand, jumped 29.7% from a year earlier to $57.78 billion in November, Ministry of Economic Affairs data showed on Monday.
The highest monthly figure on record represented the fastest rate of growth since May 2010 and far exceeded the 13.4% rise projected in a Reuters poll.
The ministry said orders were helped by “hot sales” of new smartphones, as well as continued robust demand for technology to support remote working and learning during the pandemic.
Orders for telecommunications products rose 22.3% on year to $20.8 billion, also a record monthly high, largely attributable to new smartphones and gaming consoles coming to market and work-from-home demand, the ministry added.
Taiwanese companies such as Foxconn and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) are key suppliers to Apple, which in September launched its next-generation iPhone 12.
Taiwan usually sees strong electronics orders in the third and fourth quarters, when vendors launch new smartphone models ahead of holiday demand.
The ministry expects export orders to rise between 29% and 32.5% in December, fuelled by new consumer electronics products from leading global brands, though it warned of uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and continued concern over U.S.-China trade tensions.
U.S. orders in November rose 30.6% from a year earlier, compared with a 17.1% jump in October, while orders from China were up 23.3% versus a 10.7% gain the previous month.
European orders soared by 50.2% while those from Japan were up 25.3%.
Taiwan’s economy is expected to grow by 2.54% in 2020, the slowest in four years but far better than many of its regional peers, as rebounding exports and consumer confidence counter the impact from the coronavirus crisis.
(Reporting by Jeanny Kao and Ben Blanchard Editing by David Goodman)