May exports on rise (update)

Taipei, June 9 (CNA) Taiwan's exports in May totaled US$26.67 billion, up 1.4 percent from the same month of last year, the Ministry of Finance reported Monday. The country's imports for the month hit US$21.38 billion, down 2.3 percent year-on-year, giving Taiwan a trade surplus of US$5.29 billion in May, a 19.5 percent annual increase, according to ministry figures. The export growth was mostly driven by strong exports of electronic goods, which grew 15.2 percent in May from a year earlier to US$8.56 billion and set a new monthly high. Yeh Maan-tzwu, director of the ministry's statistics department, said Taiwan's overall exports grew 2.1 percent year-on-year to US$126.58 billion in the January to May period, and he expected the country's exports to sustain their growth momentum in June. Chemical exports also posted strong gains in May, rising 10.3 percent year-on-year to US$1.87 billion, the ministry said. Exports of optical, mineral and telecommunication products, however, were weak performers in May, the ministry said. Exports of optical goods were down 15.9 percent year-on-year to US$1.54 billion in May, while overseas sales of mineral and telecommunication products fell 22 percent to US$1.45 billion and 21.2 percent to US$1.24 billion, respectively. (By Wei Shu, Flor Wang and Lee Hsin-Yin)