Taiwan's June exports rise on strong demand from mainland

Updated: 2007-07-09 19:03

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.

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