Taiwan exports drop for 12th month

Beijing, Feb 16 (IANS) Taiwan’s exports dropped for a 12th consecutive month in January, according to new official figures.

The export volume last month stood at $22.2 billion, 13 percent lower than the volume in January 2015, Xinhua reported.

The import volume was $18.69 billion, 11.7 percent lower than a year earlier, the local finance authority said in a statement on Tuesday.

It attributed the plunge in exports to flagging global demand and falling prices of crude oil and steel products worldwide.

The product category that suffered the most last month was optical instruments, with exports down 24.5 percent year on year. Nearly 20 percent fewer metal products were exported this January than in January 2015.

Exports to the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong accounted for more than 38 percent of the island’s total, with a volume of $8.56 billion, down 19.3 percent from a year ago.

The statement said that exports may continue to drop year on year in February due to the nine-day Spring Festival holiday.

Looking ahead, unclear global economic prospects, fierce competition and falling material prices may continue to weigh on exports.

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