Taipei, Export orders given to companies in Taiwan edged lower in June from a year earlier because of weak demand for the country's electronics and information and communication products, Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) figures showed.
Taiwan's export orders fell 0.1 percent year-on-year in June to US$40.31 billion, only the second monthly drop since July 2016, according to figures released Friday.
The previous drop came in February 2018, which was caused by fewer working days in the month compared with a year earlier because of the timing of the Lunar New Year holiday.
Officials had been confident that export orders would continue to show year-on-year growth in June after having grown 21 of the previous 22 months.
For the first half of the year, however, Taiwan's export orders totaled US$238.44 billion, up 6.6 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.
Lin Li-chen (???), director of the ministry's Department of Statistics, said the June decline was mainly due to slow demand for the country's electronics, optical equipment, and information and communication products.
The electronics segment was mainly affected by the slowdown in sales of smartphones in June, Lin said, but emerging technology applications such as automotive electronics and biometrics continued to expand.
Export orders for electronics goods in June dropped by 0.2 percent from the previous year.
Orders for optical equipment were down for the fifth consecutive month, reflecting a fall in global LCD panel prices, she said.
In the information and communication sector, export orders in June also dropped by 7.6 percent over the same period last year, according to MOEA data.
With the global economy continuing a steady recovery, Lin expected exports to pick up sometime in the second half of this year with the help of new smartphone releases by major international brands.