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UPDATE 1-Taiwan March export orders up again, outlook strong

(Recasts, adds details)

* March orders +33.3% y/y vs +33.65% in Reuters poll

* Orders from China +34.1% y/y; U.S. +33.2% y/y

* Ministry sees April orders rising between 29.8% and 33.7% y/y

TAIPEI, April 20 (Reuters) - Taiwan’s March export orders rose for the 13th month in a row and in line with expectations, boosted by sustained demand for telecommuting products during strict lockdowns worldwide to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Strong demand for smartphones made by the likes of Apple Inc also fuelled orders.

Taiwan’s export orders, a bellwether of global technology demand, jumped 33.3% from a year earlier to $53.66 billion in March, data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs showed on Tuesday.

That was broadly in line with the median forecast of a rise of 33.65% in a Reuters poll.

The ministry attributed March’s strong performance to robust demand for smartphones, tablets and laptop computers, as well as electronics parts for the automotive sector, which has been suffering from a global shortage of chips.

In February, export orders jumped 48.5% from a year earlier to $42.59 billion .

Taiwan companies such as Foxconn and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) are key suppliers to Apple, which launched its next-generation iPhone 12 in September.

The ministry described the outlook as good with the gradual recovery in the global economy from the pandemic helping orders, as well as continued strong demand for semiconductors and products to support the work-from-home trend.

The ministry expects export orders to rise between 29.8% and 33.7% year-on-year in April.

U.S. orders in March jumped 33.2% from a year earlier, down from a rise of 50.2% in February, while orders from China were up 34.1%, versus a gain of 48.6% the previous month.

European orders rose 30.4%, while those from Japan were also up 30.4%. (Reporting by Emily Chan and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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