Meanwhile, Taiwan’s imports rose 20.5 percent year-on-year in July to US$26.12 billion, with a trade surplus of US$2.24 billion, 58.5 percent lower than a year earlier, the data indicated.
The high import growth resulted from solid local demand for agricultural and industrial raw materials, production equipment, and consumer products, the MOF said.
In the first seven months of the year, Taiwan’s exports hit US$192.19 billion, up 10.0 percent from a year earlier, and imports grew 12.2 percent to US$164.4 billion, while the trade surplus fell 1.9 percent year-on-year to US$27.79 billion, the MOF said.
In July, Taiwanese electronics component firms sold US$9.33 billion worth of goods overseas, up 7.2 percent from a year earlier, on the back of solid demand for semiconductors, exports of which increased 7.0 percent year-on-year to US$7.97 billion, the data showed.
With international crude oil prices still high, exports of rubber/plastics and chemical goods grew 11.7 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively, to US$2.15 billion and US$1.80 billion in July, according to the data.
Base metal exports from Taiwan rose 9.3 percent in July from a year earlier to US$ 2.82 billion on higher steel prices and related products, while machinery exports increased 4.8 percent to US$2.37 billion.
However, outbound sales of optoelectronics fell 11.0 percent from a year earlier to about US$1.0 billion, while exports of flat panels and components dropped more than 20 percent, the MOF said.
In July, China and Hong Kong remained the largest market for Taiwan’s exports, absorbing a total US$11.58 billion worth, an increase of 8.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the data.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations was the second biggest market, accounting for US$4.99 billion worth of Taiwan’s exports, although the figure was 2.3 percent lower than a year earlier, the MOF said.
Taiwan’s exports to the United States market rose 2.2 percent year-on-year in July to US$3.35 billion, while exports to Europe and Japan rose 2.7 percent and 5.1 percent to US$2.57 billion and US$2.04 billion, respectively, the ministry said.
It said a higher comparison base in the third quarter of 2017 could limit Taiwan’s export growth in the corresponding period of this year, while the growing trade friction between the U.S. and China could compromise global demand and Taiwan’s outbound sales.