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Taiwan November exports post steepest drop in 6 years

[TAIPEI] Taiwan's exports in November posted their steepest year-on-year drop in more than six years as demand failed to recover due to a weak global economy, figures showed Monday.

Shipments last month fell 16.9 per cent from November 2014, the most since August 2009 when exports plunged 24.6 per cent, according to the Ministry of Finance.

It was the tenth consecutive month of year-on-year declines.

"The slow pace of global economic recovery... with manufacturers again taking a wait-and-see approach on restocking goods led to continued trade weakness in November," the ministry said in a statement.

Exports of electronic products - which accounts for more than 30 per cent of all shipments - fell 11.5 per cent from a year earlier due to excess inventories in the technology sector.

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Taiwan, traditionally an export-driven technology hub, had benefited from new product launches from phone giant Apple.

But the island has been feeling the effect of tapering global growth in smartphone demand as well as stiffer competition from China - which used to rely on Taiwan-made parts but has been nurturing its own domestic brands and hardware manufacturing.

Taiwan last month cut its economic growth forecast for 2015 to 1.06 per cent while also lowering expectations for next year to growth of 2.32 per cent.

The latest trade data shows exports from January to November dropped 10.3 per cent.

Imports in November declined 13.7 per cent from a year earlier, led by drops in imports of minerals, metals, and agricultural raw materials.


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