Taiwan’s export orders plummeted by the most since the height of the global financial crisis more than a decade ago, a sign of worsening global demand for technology products.
Overseas orders to Taiwanese firms fell 23.4% in November from a year earlier, according to a statement from the Economics Ministry December 20. That was almost double the 12.8% drop economists had forecast in a Bloomberg survey and was the sharpest decline since March 2009.
The plunge in orders is the latest indication rising inflation is weighing heavily on global demand for consumer goods in the run-up to the peak holiday shopping season. Taiwan’s exports fell more than 13% in November, far worse than economists had predicted, data from the finance ministry showed earlier in December.
Data from China and South Korea paint a similar picture, with deeper declines in exports recorded in November.
Taiwan’s orders for all major product categories fell, with optical products, plastics and basic metals registering the biggest contractions. Electronic products, which includes orders for semiconductors, fell by 15.2% versus November 2021.
The government attributed the bigger-than-expected decline to waning end-user demand, inventory adjustment by clients, and to disruption to manufacturing in China due to COVID controls, according to the ministry’s statement.
With China dropping most virus restrictions this month, a rebound in demand there may help to support Taiwan’s exports, analysts said.
“I expect export orders to remain grim for one more season, but China’s reopening will have a positive effect on the supply chain,” Rick Lo, head economist at Fubon Financial said via telephone.
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