Manufacturing sector output up for 6th straight quarter in Q1

Taipei, The production value of the local manufacturing sector grew, year on year, for the sixth consecutive quarter in the first quarter of this year on the back of a continued global recovery, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

The MOEA said Taiwan's manufacturers benefited from solid global demand at a time of increased technology innovation, while rising prices for raw materials further boosted output in the sector.

In the January-March period, the production value of Taiwan's manufacturing sector was about NT$3.31 trillion (US$111 billion), up 3.30 percent from a year earlier, after a sequential 4.41 percent increase in the previous quarter, data compiled by the ministry showed.

That was the sixth straight quarter year on year output in the sector has grown since the third quarter of 2016, when production value fell 1.99 percent from a year earlier, the data indicated.

However, the first quarter figure was down from NT$3.44 trillion seen in the fourth quarter of last year in the wake of slow season effects, particularly notable with industries in the high tech segment, according to the data.

Among all of the industries in the manufacturing sector, the electronic components industry posted the highest output of NT$898.2 billion in the first quarter, up 0.86 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.

In the January-March period, the production value of semiconductor firms, including wafer foundry operators and memory chipmakers, rose 11.91 percent to NT$363.1 billion on an increase in smart applications, while the flat panel sector saw its output fall 13.03 percent to NT$206.4 billion due to product prices, the MOEA said.

Rising international crude oil prices and growing petrochemical item prices boosted the production value of the chemical raw material segment by 6.83 percent from a year earlier to NT$488.6 billion in the first quarter, the MOEA added.

The output of the base metals segment also rose 5.34 percent from a year earlier to NT$353.4 billion in the first quarter, marking the seventh consecutive quarter increase, at a time of continued steel price increases and solid demand in the global market, the data showed.

During the same three month period, the machinery business posted NT$163.5 billion in output, up 9.42 percent from a year earlier as manufacturers rushed to install new production equipment for expansion, while the output of the local auto/auto parts industry fell 4.08 percent to NT$90.1 billion amid escalating competition from imported cars and a fall in auto part exports, the MOEA said.

The ministry said it expects the local manufacturing sector to continue to post year on year growth in output in the second quarter, on the back of rising demand for applications in Internet of Things, automotive electronics and high performance computing.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel