* May export orders +7.0% y/y vs +6.0% Reuters poll forecast

* Orders from China +10.1% y/y vs +16.3% in prior month

* Ministry sees June orders between +10.9% and +15.4% y/y

TAIPEI, June 20 (Reuters) - Taiwan's export orders rose more than expected in May as the tech powerhouse continues to reap the benefits of a boom in artificial intelligence (AI) applications.

Export orders last month rose 7.0% from a year earlier to $48.89 billion, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Thursday. While that beat the 6% gain forecast in a Reuters poll, it marked a pull back from April's 10.8% expansion.

Orders for goods from Taiwan, home to tech giants such as chip manufacturer TSMC, a major producer of AI chips, are a bellwether of global technology demand.

"Export growth momentum will be supported as new applications such as high-performance computing and AI continue to accelerate," the ministry said in a statement. "Our semiconductor industry and servers supply chain have competitive advantages."

It said it expects export orders in June will rise between 10.9% and 15.4% year-on-year.

However, the ministry cited risks ahead including the impact of high interest rates in the United States and Europe, China-U.S. trade disputes and broader geopolitical uncertainty.

Taiwan's orders in May for telecommunication products rose 11.4% from the prior year, while electronic products jumped 9.2% from a year ago, it said.

Orders from China rose 10.1% versus a 16.3% jump in the prior month. Orders from the United States were up 3.1%, compared with a 11.8% gain in April.

Orders from Europe were flat, having slipped 0.2% in April.

From Japan, orders slid 15.1% last month, versus a contraction of 10.5% in April. (Reporting by Faith Hung and Liang-sa Loh; Editing by Ben Blanchard and Shri Navaratnam)