* Oct orders +0.3 pct y/y, compared with poll's +3.35 pct
* Many worry that Trump policies could hurt island's exports
* Contraction in U.S. Oct orders 'worrisome' - analyst
* U.S. orders -1.3 pct y/y, China +7.4 pct, Japan -13.1 pct
* Orders for high-end notebooks cause of weak data -
(Adds comments from government official, analyst)
By Liang-Sa Loh and J.R. Wu
TAIPEI, Nov 21 Taiwan's export orders grew much
less than expected in October, clouding hopes that the island's
economy can get a boost from seasonal holiday demand before
Donald Trump becomes U.S. president.
In October, orders increased 0.3 percent from a year
earlier, well below a Reuters poll expectation for a 3.35
percent gain and September's 3.9 percent annual growth.
Economists had been upbeat that demand for Apple Inc's
new iPhone 7 models, which the U.S. giant said have
been in short supply, would be able to drive export-related
activity for the final months of 2016.
But with orders barely growing last month - and those from
the U.S. contracting - concerns will remain that growth
prospects for Taiwan's trade-dependent economy are tepid.
Orders from the U.S. shrank 1.3 percent, compared with
September's nearly 13 percent jump.
The October contraction is "worrisome", said Anita Hsu,
analyst with Masterlink Investment Advisory in Taipei. "The
concern is about lack of support (for export activity) after
shipments of new Apple products finish."
Orders related to mobile phones were in "peak season" in
October, but the replacement ones for "high-end notebooks" were
slower, which weighed on overall orders, the economics ministry
said in a statement on Monday, without elaborating.
October exports totalled $42.7 billion. L.J. Lin, a ministry
official, told a briefing November ones could be between $41.8
billion and $42.8 billion.
She said that orders for the full year 2016 are likely to
contract from 2015.
Taiwan's export orders are seen as a leading indicator for
Asia's exports and reflect shipment activity 2-3 months ahead.
Traditionally, exports are bigger in the second half of the year
due to new product launches before Christmas.
Orders from China rose 7.4 percent from a year ago, twice
the gain seen for September.
For electronics goods, orders rose 5.6 percent last month
from a year ago, while those for information and communications
goods were up just 0.9 percent.
GROWTH SHOCK AHEAD?
October's disappointing result comes amid uncertainty over
Asia's trade outlook when Trump takes office as U.S. president
Taiwan's economy is one in Asia that could see a
"significant growth shock" if U.S. companies delay foreign
investment plans, according to Credit Suisse.
Expectations for a more hostile trade policy from Trump
could also hit Asian processing exports to China if the new U.S.
government launches more anti-dumping cases against Beijing, it
said in a report this month.
"But at this stage it is hard to quantify this effect,"
Credit Suisse said.
Weak exports have dented Taiwan's economic performance. The
government currently forecasts the economy to grow 1.22 percent
this year, compared with 0.65 percent in 2015.
Much of Taiwan's export orders are processed through
manufacturing plants in China operated by Taiwanese tech
"If these (Taiwanese factories) had to move to the U.S., it
would be a very big engineering effort and construction costs
are high," said Lin of the economics ministry.
However, she also said building new factories could be a
positive for Taiwan's machinery industry.
(Additional reporting by Emily Chan; Editing by Richard Borsuk)