Contact lens output in Taiwan in 2017 hits all-time high

Taipei-The value of goods made by Taiwan's contact lens makers in the first 10 months of 2017 jumped more than 30 percent year-on-year to hit an all-time high, according to Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) data.

The contact lens industry had an output value of NT$16.7 billion (US$566 million) during the 10-month period, up 33.2 percent from a year earlier and higher than the sector's record-setting NT$16.1 billion in output for all of 2016.

The MOEA said the surge was the result of Taiwanese contact lens makers launching new products, such as lenses that are more breathable because they allow higher levels of oxygen transmission.

Taiwanese manufacturers have also introduced cosmetic lenses with a wide range of colors, making them more appealing to the young generation in the market, while some brands have unveiled products catering especially to seniors, the MOEA said.

The ministry said Taiwan's contact lens sector may end up with an output value exceeding NT$20 billion in 2017, which would obliterate the 2016 record.

Contact lenses accounted for 59.7 percent of the total output of Taiwan's eyewear industry during the 10-month period, which hit NT$28 billion, up 21.6 percent from a year earlier, the MOEA said.

A high percentage of the output of contact lens manufacturers continues to be exported.

According to Customs statistics, Taiwan exported about US$330 million worth of contact lenses in the first 11 months of last year, up 24 percent from a year earlier.

During the 11-month period, Japan was the largest buyer of Taiwan's contact lenses, accounting for 65.8 percent of the exports, ahead of China (16.2 percent), the United States (5.2 percent) and Hong Kong (3.5 percent).

The MOEA said Taiwan is expected to report a new high of NT$30 billion in output for the entire eyewear sector in 2017, up from NT$28.7 billion in 2016.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel