That dollar amount results froms a 53.2% uptick from $285.1 billion during 2018, and a 14% year-over-year increase from $383 billion in 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, our estimates show that the new Taiwan dollar appreciated by 1.2% against the US dollar since 2018 but diluted by around -6.7% from 2021 to 2022. Taiwan’s weaker local currency since 2021 made Taiwan’s imports relatively more expensive when paid for starting with weaker new Taiwan dollars.
Main Countries Importing Products from Taiwan
The latest available country-specific data shows that 73.9% of products imported into Taiwan were supplied by exporters in: mainland China (19.2% of Taiwan’s global total), Japan (12.5%), United States of America (10.5%), South Korea (7.8%), Australia (5.6%), Germany (3.2%), Malaysia (3.1%), Singapore (2.9%), Saudi Arabia (2.6%), Indonesia (also 2.6%), Netherlands (2.3%) and Kuwait (1.6%).
Applying a continental lens, over two-thirds (67.2%) of Taiwan’s total imports by value in 2022 were purchased from fellow Asian countries. Trade partners in Europe fulfilled 11.9% of import purchases by Taiwan, while another 11.7% worth of products originated from North America.
Smaller percentages came from Oceania (6.4%) led by Australia and Papua New Guinea, Latin America (1.6%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, and Africa (1.1%).
Given Taiwan’s population of 23.3 million people, its total $436.6 billion in 2022 imports translates to roughly $18,800 in yearly product demand from every person in the East Asia island province of China. That dollar metric exceeds the average $16,400 per capita for 2021.
Taiwan’s Top 10 Imports
The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Taiwan’s import purchases during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Taiwan.
- Electrical machinery, equipment: US$127.2 billion (29.1% of total imports)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $78 billion (17.9%)
- Machinery including computers: $72.3 billion (16.6%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $19.1 billion (4.4%)
- Iron, steel: $10.9 billion (2.5%)
- Vehicles: $10.8 billion (2.5%)
- Organic chemicals: $9.8 billion (2.3%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $9.1 billion (2.1%)
- Other chemical goods: $8 billion (1.8%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $7.3 billion (1.7%)
Taiwan’s top 10 imports accounted for four-fifths (80.8%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.
Fastest growers among Taiwan’s top import categories from 2021 to 2022 were mineral fuels including oil (up 56.1%), pharmaceuticals (up 37.5%) then machinery including computers (up 24.8%).
The severest decline for Taiwan’s top imported products was the -14.6% drop compared to 2021 for iron and steel.
Please note that the product category results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.
At the more detailed 4-digit HTS code level, Taiwan spent the most on electronic integrated circuits and microassemblies, machinery for making semi-conductors, crude oil, petroleum gases, then coal including solid fuels made from coal. That quintet of major imports represents 44.2% of all spending on Taiwanese imported products.
Information presented in the following sections is also at the more granular 4-digit level.
Main Electrical Products Imported by Taiwan
Taiwanese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electrical equipment including consumer electronics.
- Integrated circuits/microassemblies: US$87.8 billion (up 7.5% from 2021)
- Phone system devices: $7.6 billion (up 2.2%)
- Printed circuits: $4.2 billion (up 16.4%)
- Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $3.8 billion (up 3.7%)
- Electrical converters/power units: $2.9 billion (up 3.9%)
- Unrecorded sound media: $2.6 billion (down -5.2%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $2.3 billion (down -5.5%)
- Electrical capacitators: $2.1 billion (down -9.1%)
- Insulated wire/cable: $1.6 billion (up 5.6%)
- Electric storage batteries: $1.4 billion (up 46.3%)
Among these import subcategories, Taiwanese purchases of electric storage batteries (up 46.3%), printed circuits (up 16.4%) then electronic integrated circuits and microassemblies (up 7.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electronics among Taiwanese businesses and consumers.
Main Mineral Fuels Related Products Imported by Taiwan
Taiwanese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products.
- Crude oil: US$31 billion (up 55.6% from 2021)
- Petroleum gases: $20.6 billion (up 79.5%)
- Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $16.2 billion (up 93.7%)
- Processed petroleum oils: $9.6 billion (up 0.5%)
- Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $416.4 million (down -17.7%)
- Coke, semi-coke: $106.9 million (up 36.5%)
- Petroleum oil residues: $85.8 million (up 20.3%)
- Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $43.5 million (up 2.5%)
- Peat: $3.4 million (up 15.1%)
- Tar pitch, coke: $2.6 million (down -9%)
Among these import subcategories, Taiwanese purchases of coal plus solid fuels made from coal (up 93.7%), petroleum gases (up 79.5%) then crude oil (up 55.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported fossil fuels-related products among Taiwanese businesses and consumers.
Main Machinery Products Including Computers Imported by Taiwan
Taiwanese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machines including computers.
- Machinery for making semi-conductors: US$37.6 billion (up 47.8% from 2021)
- Computer parts, accessories: $9 billion (up 19.6%)
- Computers, optical readers: $5.6 billion (up 6.3%)
- Turbo-jets: $2.7 billion (up 9.6%)
- Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $1.7 billion (up 8%)
- Taps, valves, similar appliances: $1.52 billion (up 15%)
- Miscellaneous machinery: $1.48 billion (up 0.8%)
- Air or vacuum pumps: $1.46 billion (up 6.6%)
- Machines for assembling electronic lamps, tubes: $817.3 million (down -29.5%)
- Air conditioners: $722.3 million (up 18.1%)
Among these import subcategories, Taiwanese purchases of machinery for making semi-conductors (up 47.8%), computer parts or accessories (up 19.6%) then air conditioners (up 18.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among Taiwanese businesses and consumers.
Main Medical or Technical Products Imported by Taiwan
Taiwanese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of optical, technical and medical equipment.
- Other measuring/testing machines: US$6.3 billion (up 48.6% from 2021)
- Oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers: $4.8 billion (down -2.6%)
- Electro-medical equipment (e.g. xrays): $1.3 billion (up 13.5%)
- Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools: $1.2 billion (down -13.1%)
- Physical/chemical analysis tools: $1 billion (up 10.9%)
- Optical fiber cables, sheets, plates: $825.2 million (down -16.5%)
- X-ray equipment: $618 million (up 28.4%)
- Lenses, prisms, mirrors: $565 million (up 0.6%)
- Orthopedic appliances: $450.9 million (up 12.8%)
- Regulate/control instruments: $442.5 million (up 14.3%)
Among these import subcategories, Taiwanese purchases of other measuring and testing machines (up 48.6%), x-ray equipment (up 28.4%) then regulating and controlling instruments (up 14.3%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported optical, technical and medical equipment among Taiwanese businesses and consumers.
See also Taiwan’s Top Trading Partners, Taiwan’s Top 10 Exports and Top Asian Export Countries
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Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 8, 2023
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