Date
11 December 2017
Taiwan's exports to Europe, including semiconductors and other electronic products, fell 3.2 percent in December from a month earlier. Photo: Bloomberg
Taiwan's exports to Europe, including semiconductors and other electronic products, fell 3.2 percent in December from a month earlier. Photo: Bloomberg

Asian exporters hit by European economic woes

Asian exporters hoping Western demand could help make up for continuing slowdown in China may be in for a big letdown amid Europe’s economic weakness and a faltering euro, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Exports to Europe grew by more than 11 percent in July, a peak and much higher than low single-digit growth earlier in the year, the newspaper said, citing HSBC data.

Since then, however, shipments to the region have slumped, to 5.3 percent in October.

Exports to the United States were stronger at 9.7 percent for the same month.

Shipments remained weak for November and December, based on data for countries that have reported. 

“Europe is an exceedingly important market for Asia, on par with the US,” HSBC economist Frederic Neumann was quoted as saying.

Taiwan’s exports to Europe fell 3.2 percent in December from a month earlier. Shipments for November was up, but after three straight months of contraction.

Its exports to the US for the same month rose 4.1 percent, following two months of gains.

Thailand’s exports to Europe fell 6.4 percent month on month in November, the biggest drop since April 2013.

Shipments to Europe from South Korea and China have also been losing steam in recent months, the newspaper said.

Meanwhile, economists expect the euro to remain weak. In the past six months, the currency has declined by double-digit percentages against several currencies, including the Chinese renminbi, the Thai baht and the Indian rupee, the report said.

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FL/CG

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