Exports jumped 9.4% from a year earlier to $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% for the month. Exports in August went up 8.3%, also helped by demand from Huawei.
The ministry said exports were driven by Huawei stockpiling supplies before the U.S. 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 U.S. 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% contraction to a 1% rise on year, the ministry said.
While the coronavirus pandemic and U.S.-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%, against economists’ expectations for a 3% increase.
Taiwan’s manufacturers are a key part of the global supply chain for tech giants such as Apple Inc.