TAIPEI - Taiwan's export orders, a bellwether for global technology demand, logged a strong annual rise in June, recovering from COVID-19 lockdowns in China and global supply chain disruptions, but the government warned of a clouded outlook for global trade.
Export orders last month were up 9.5% from a year earlier at $58.83 billion, a record high for June, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Wednesday. Analysts had expected 5.6% growth.
First-half orders rose 9.5% compared with the same period of 2021.
June's rise followed a 6% annual expansion seen in May's figures. April logged the first fall since February 2020, when the pandemic had just begun sweeping the world.
Orders for telecommunications products in June grew 22% on a year before. An easing of pandemic measures in China helped unsnarl supply chains and begin clearing a backlog of orders for cellphones and laptop computers.
Orders for electronic products jumped 11.7%, driven by semiconductor demand for high-end computing, automobiles and other appliances, it said.
The trend towards working and studying from home has fuelled growth in orders for Taiwanese electronics in the past two years or more, more recently reinforced by a global semiconductor shortage that has filled Taiwanese chip makers' order books.
The ministry said it expected July export orders to be between 0.4% and 3.1% higher than those of July 2021.
Global tech demand should keep driving export order momentum, the ministry said, but it warned of uncertainly from the war in Ukraine, global inflation and new COVID strains.
"It is feared these will restrain global trade growth," it added.
Taiwanese companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd are major suppliers to Apple Inc, Qualcomm Inc and other global tech firms.
TSMC last week announced a forecast-beating second-quarter profit, saying it was "highly confident" about its long-term prospects.
However, Taiwan's June orders from China were down 14.5% from a year earlier, compared with an annual fall of 13.4% seen in May. Month-on-month, orders from China inched up 0.2%.
Orders from the United States rose 13.3% on a year before, compared with the previous 10.5% rise.
Export orders from Europe grew 18.8%, compared with an annual expansion of 9.5% in May, while those from Japan rose 5.9%.
(Reporting by Emily Chan and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Bradley Perrett)