Exports from Taiwan fell 8.9% year-on-year in March, much more than the 3.1% decrease forecast in a Reuters poll. This was the biggest drop in exports in two years. Exports to mainland China fell 8%, while shipments to Europe and Japan fell 13.6% and 11.6%, respectively.
Even electronics exports fell 0.2% despite Taiwanese manufacturers providing many components for Apple’s iPhone 6 and Apple Watch. The integrated circuits market in Taiwan grew 10.2% in the first quarter, driving growth in the semiconductor industry that could face a downturn due to water restrictions.
Taiwan’s exports also decreased 6.7% year-on-year in February.
The Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) closed down 69.93 points (0.72%) today, led by the tech sector. One of the biggest losers of the day was Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), which fell 2.05% ahead of the release of its earnings for the first quarter next Thursday. TSMC is expanding its production techniques to compete with Samsung Electronics, according to Bloomberg.
Shares of Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) fell slightly despite a 12.5% increase in March revenue. Smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. lost 2.18% today despite posting a 38.45% increase in March revenue. Shares of Quanta Computer also fell 1.74%.
The consumer price index (CPI) in Taiwan also fell 0.6% year-on-year in March on lower energy prices. The CPI also fell in January and February.