TAIPEI : Taiwan's exports rose for a 15th straight month in September, with the stronger-than-expected pace setting a new record, as the island's manufacturers faced sustained demand amid a global shortage of computer chips and for consumer electronics.
Exports in September were the highest monthly figure on record, rising 29.2per cent from a year earlier to US$39.65 billion, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a rise of 25per cent for September, compared with a 26.9per cent increase in August.
The ministry attributed the growth to robust demand and rising prices for chips, a shortage of which has crippled car plants globally and is affecting consumer electronics, and the gradual post-pandemic economic bounce back around the world.
Electronics exports hit a record high in September at US$16.58 billion, with semiconductor exports growing 27.6per cent from a year earlier.
Firms such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) are major suppliers to Apple Inc and other global tech giants, as well as providers of chips for auto companies and lower-end consumer electronics.
The ministry warned of risks ahead, including uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect of power cuts in China on supply chains.
But it said the outlook for the fourth quarter was good, with new consumer electronics hitting the market and the year-end holiday season, traditionally a busy time for Taiwan's tech firms, helping exports.
September exports to China, Taiwan's largest trading partner, grew an annual 23.1per cent to US$17.49 billion, while exports to the United States jumped 34per cent on year.
Imports leapt 40.4per cent, slightly under economists' expectations for a 41.2per cent rise and an increase of 46.3per cent in August.
Taiwan could see October exports increase in the range of 21per cent to 25per cent compared with a year earlier, the ministry added.
China will release its trade data on Oct. 13.
(Reporting by Emily Chan and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)