TAIPEI, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- Taiwan's export orders dropped to 40.49 billion U.S. dollars in January, falling 6 percent from the same period last year and 6.7 percent from the previous month, according to data released by the island's economic authority. In January, orders from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong totaled 9.8 billion U.S. dollars, down 14.1 percent year on year, the authority said in a statement. During the month, orders from the United States stood at nearly 11.2 billion dollars and those from Europe were worth 8.6 billion dollars, edging down 5.3 percent and 1.4 percent respectively compared with the same period last year. The authority attributed the fall to weakening demand of smartphones, a weak global economy and the low price of raw materials. Export orders for information and communication devices posted a slump of 5.8 percent from a year earlier as international smartphone brands reported disappointing shipments. Electronic component firms also reported a 2 percent year-on-year decline in export orders due to slower sales reported by memory chip producers and printed circuit board suppliers.