TAIPEI, Taiwan _ Taiwan's exports in June rose a faster-than-expected 11.0
percent from the same month last year to a record US$20.1 billion on
strong demand from the Chinese mainland and Europe, the "Ministry of Finance" said in
a statement Monday.
Seven economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast an average rise
of 5.41 percent. Exports in June also expanded at a faster pace than May's rise
of 3.5 percent.
The June total gave Taiwan a trade surplus of US$1.41 billion, largely on the strengths
of sales to the mainland and Hong Kong.
Exports to that destination, its largest overseas market, rose 14.6 percent
to US$8.07 billion. Exports to Europe rose 17.8 percent to US$2.25 billion.
Demand for base-metal products and electronics contributed significantly to
the growth. Steel product exports surged 40.1 percent to US$1.55 billion and
electronics shipments rose 6.2 percent to US$5.22 billion, the ministry said.
Lee Li-shu, the "ministry"'s top statistician, said the government expects
exports to remain strong in coming months.
"Based on our experience, the third and fourth quarters are typically high
seasons for exporters," Lee said. "We hope the export growth will be stronger in
the second half than the first half of this year."
Taiwan's imports in June rose 10.7 percent to US$18.68 billion, also a record
high. The growth rate was above the survey's average forecast of a 4.03 percent
increase and a strong rebound from a fall of 0.1 percent in May.
Imports of agricultural and industrial raw materials rose 12.8 percent in
June to US$14.1 billion, while imports of crude oil increased 16.5 percent from
the year-earlier period to US$2.32 billion, the "ministry" said.