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Huawei stockpiling drives Taiwan Sept exports up for second month
[TAIPEI] Taiwan's exports rose in September, boosted again by Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies rushing to get in orders at Taiwanese firms before they had to comply with US curbs that took effect last month.
Exports jumped 9.4 per cent from a year earlier to US$30.71 billion in September, the second-highest monthly tally on record, the finance ministry said on Wednesday. A Reuters poll had forecast a rise of 6.6 per cent for the month. Exports in August went up 8.3 per cent, also helped by demand from Huawei.
The ministry said exports were driven by Huawei stockpiling supplies before the US restrictions kicked in and the start of the peak shopping season for electronics.
The Trump administration in August expanded its curbs on Huawei and banned suppliers from selling chips made using US technology to the Chinese firm without a special licence. That came on top of May restrictions, which fully took effect on Sept 14.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, said in July it had stopped taking new orders from Huawei in May and did not plan to ship wafers after Sept 15.
Tech powerhouse Taiwan, whose largest trading partner is China, could see October exports in the range of a 2 per cent contraction to a 1 per cent rise on year, the ministry said.
While the coronavirus pandemic and US-China trade tensions remained sources of concern, the upcoming shopping season in the United States and Europe and the work-from-home trend that has helped demand for Taiwan's tech products should keep export demand steady, the ministry added.
Taiwan's September imports unexpectedly fell 5.4 per cent, against economists' expectations for a 3 per cent increase.
Taiwan's manufacturers are a key part of the global supply chain for tech giants such as Apple.