* Q1 export orders +12.6 pct y/y, March +12.3 pct (f'cast
* Strong order growth continues from China, U.S.
* Orders for major electronics components grow by double
By Faith Hung and Liang-Sa Loh
TAIPEI, April 20 Taiwan's export orders rose for
the eighth straight month in March and at a faster pace than
expected as global demand remained strong for components of
Apple Inc's new iPhone and other tech gadgets.
The continued expansion bodes well for the island's
trade-driven economy and revenues for many companies in the
global electronics supply chain, though the export outlook
remains clouded by worries about a rise in U.S. protectionism.
Taiwan's export orders rose 12.3 percent in March from a
year earlier, above the 10 percent forecast in a Reuters poll
but slowing from a 22 percent pace the prior month.
In the first quarter, orders rose 12.6 percent from the same
period last year, government data showed on Thursday.
"Although the first half of the year is the time when
outgoing and incoming models of high-end handheld devices
overlap, the Internet of things, automotive electronics, and
cloud computing and other emerging technologies accelerate the
development," the ministry of economic affairs said.
"Orders for traditional goods (also) remain solid,
benefiting from global economic recovery and raw materials
prices rebounding" from recent lows, it said.
Taiwan's orders are a leading indicator of actual shipments
two to three months ahead and a gauge of demand for Asia's
Mainland China, South Korea and Japan have also reported
strong export data in recent months, with gains in electronics.
Orders for technology components, including those used in
electronic, information and telecommunications goods, all showed
double-digit growth, the ministry said.
Growing demand for semiconductors for smartphones, cars and
home devices has been fueling capital investment in new
manufacturing technology, propelling a rally over the past year
in stock prices of chipmakers and companies that make equipment
Shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co,
the world's largest contract chipmaker and a major supplier to
Apple, rose more than 7 percent at one point this year
before pulling back this month.
TSMC said on Thursday it had ordered machinery equipment
worth T$354 million ($11.64 million) from Genesis Technology Inc
U.S.-listed Shares of semiconductor equipment suppliers
surged on Wednesday after quarterly earnings reports from Lam
Research and ASML Holding suggested the
recent wave of spending by chipmakers was far from
"Business remains exceptional," Morgan Stanley analyst
Joseph Moore wrote following Lam Research's report. "We could
see upward revisions to spending throughout the year, and we
expect memory (chips) to remain strong."
Export orders from Taiwan's best customers generally
remained solid in March but grew at a slower pace than in
Orders from China, Taiwan's biggest market, were up 19.9
percent in March, slowing down from 40.5 percent growth from the
From the United States, orders climbed 15.4 percent versus
21.1 percent growth in February.
Orders from Europe rose 3.8 percent from 12.9 percent in the
(Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Kim Coghill)