Taipei, Taiwan (4E) – Foreign trade export activity in Taiwan grew at a faster-than-projected pace in April, according to figures from the Ministry of Finance released Wednesday.
Exports rose 6.2 percent in April year-over-year, compared with a 2.0 percent increase in March. Economists had predicted a gain of 5.5 percent. Shipments jumped for the third consecutive month.
Imports climbed 5.8 percent in April, down from 7.5 percent in March. Economists expected a rise of 7.2 percent.
Taiwan’s trade surplus widened to $2.53bn from $1.95bn in the earlier month. Economists had projected a surplus of $1.9bn. The surplus stood at $2.30bn a year ago.
April’s shipments to the U.S. and Europe, which makes up around one-fifth of the country’s total exports, expanded a combined 9.7 percent. Exports to U.S. alone—mostly petrochemical products, metals and electronics—climbed to the highest level in over three years and gained 6.9 percent from a year ago. The figures matched the latest South Korean trade data, which was also helped by shipments to the U.S.
Overseas sales of Taiwan’s major exports–microprocessors as well as their design—continue to be the bright spot, rising 14 percent in April from the previous year.