Summary of Trends in International Trade for April 2022

2022-06-02

Natural gas prices surged: The average price of natural gas in April 2022 was US$6.59/MMBtu, up 39.51% from the previous month. As the weather in the United States is colder than ever, the demand for natural gas for power generation and heating has greatly increased, which has reduced the inventories. At the same time, the international sanctions against Russia has increased. The United States and some Europe countries have banned the import of Russian oil and gas energy, which is conducive to United States liquefied natural gas export and drives the natural gas price rise in the United States.

Taiwan’s exports in March 2022 reached US$43.51 billion, with an annual growth rate of 21.3%. Due to the continued booming demand for emerging technology applications, digital transformation, and integrated circuits, and the high price level of raw materials persist, which drove Taiwan’s export to hit a new high in the same month compared to the past years.

The imports amounted to US$38.85 billion in March 2022, with an annual growth rate of 20.3%. Due to the continued strong export-derived demand from semiconductor related industries, especially the raw material for production and semiconductor equipment, and the continued high prices level in international raw material markets, making the imports to a new high record compared to the same period of previous year.

Observations on the trade performance of Taiwan and its major trading partners:

Taiwan's exports in March 2022 to our major trading partners (China, ASEAN, US, Japan, and EU), Japan reached the highest increase, at 48.2%, followed by exports to US, EU, ASEAN and China, with 36.6%, 23.8%, 18.9% and 5.3%, respectively. Among them, China, the ASEAN, the US, and Japan set new monthly records over the years.

In terms of imports, in March 2022, Taiwan's imports from our major trading partners (China, ASEAN, US, Japan, and EU) showed the highest growth from US, at 26.2%, followed by 18.2% from ASEAN, 16.1% from China. However, Japan fell by 2.2%, and EU fell by 1.7%, respectively.

Of the top 10 exports in March 2022, the export value of electrical machinery equipment and parts (HS85) was the highest at US$22.63 billion, followed by mechanical appliances and parts (HS84) at US$5.34 billion. In terms of the rate of change, mineral products (HS27) showed the strongest growth with an annual increase of 58.4%, followed by iron and steel (HS72) with an annual growth of 33.4%, mainly due to the recovery of global demand and the continued increase in raw material prices.

Of the top 10 imports in March 2022, the import value of electrical machinery equipment and parts (HS85) was the highest at US$12.47 billion, followed by mineral products (HS27) at US$6.68 billion. In terms of the rate of change, mineral products (HS27) increased with the highest growth rate by 80.2%, followed by copper and articles thereof (HS74), which increased by 43.9%. The main reason was the simultaneous rise in export-derived demand and international raw material prices, which drove the import growth.

CTR:52