The drop was due to slowing global demand and factory production disruptions in China due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. The country's Ministry of Finance expects exports to continue to decline in Q1 as the global economy slows significantly and major uncertainties, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, persist. Exports of electronics components fell 1.4% to $16.04 billion in December, with semiconductor exports up 0.8% from the previous year. Exports to China, Taiwan's largest trading partner, dropped 16.4% to $14.28 billion.
Taiwan Sees Risks Ahead, Including Uncertainty in U.S.-China Tech War
Taiwan's finance ministry has identified several risks ahead, including uncertainty in the U.S.-China tech war. The ministry also expects January exports to contract by 20-24% from the previous year. December's imports, often seen as a leading indicator of re-exports of finished products, fell 11.4% to $30.96 billion. This followed a drop of 8.6% in November and exceeded economist expectations of a 10.2% decline.