Taiwan’s machine tool exports dropped 20.6 percent to NT$9 billion (US$302.5 million) last month from the same month last year and 24.37 percent month-on-month, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said in a statement on Wednesday.
That brought the nation’s cumulative exports of machine tools during the first eight months of this year to NT$68.6 billion, a decrease of 18.9 percent year-on-year, which the agency attributed to a “slowing macroeconomic recovery around the world,” the statement said.
In its latest industry tracker published on Monday, Barclays Bank PLC’s research team said the top seven Taiwanese machine tool firms under its coverage returned to positive sales growth year-on-year last month and forecast that Taiwanese firms would see better business opportuinities in the second half than in the first.
However, other analysts said many firms in the manufacturing sector have put their production expansion on hold amid lingering caution about global economic fundamentals, which could continue to impact the nation’s machine tool industry.
By destination, China imported the most machine tools from Taiwan, with total shipments hitting NT$23.6 billion in the first eight months of the year, followed by NT$12.3 billion in shipments to Europe and NT$10.7 billion in shipments to ASEAN nations, the statement said.
Even so, shipments to China, Europe and ASEAN shrank by 20.8 percent, 14.8 percent and 15 percent respectively in the first eight months from the same period last year, while those to the US registered the largest annual decline of 25.6 percent to NT$7.6 billion over the same period, the statement said.
By product, exports of metal cutting machine tools — which accounted for 81 percent of total shipments — fell 22.7 percent year-on-year to NT$55.3 billion from January through last month, while those of metal forming machine tools — which make up the remaining 19 percent — increased 1.3 percent to NT$13.3 billion over the same period, the statement said.