Taiwan April export orders seen falling as pandemic hits electronics demand: Reuters poll

FILE PHOTO - Shipping containers are seen at Keelung port, northern Taiwan, March 20, 2016. Picture taken March 20, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan’s export orders likely fell in April, a Reuters poll showed, as the coronavirus pandemic dents global demand for the island’s technology exports.

The median forecast from the poll of 13 economists was for export orders to contract 3% from the same period last year. Forecasts widely ranged from a decline of 10% to growth of 5.6%.

Orders in March unexpectedly grew 4.3%, their fastest pace in 17 months, helped by a boom in telecommuting amid the coronavirus outbreak and as factories begin reopening in China.

Taiwan’s export orders are a leading indicator of demand for Asia’s exports and hi-tech gadgets, and typically lead actual exports by two to three months.

Poll compiled by Carol Lee; Reporting by Yimou Lee; Editing by Kim Coghill