Thu, Apr 17, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Tool exports boosted by better global conditions

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s machine tool exports rose 4.6 percent last quarter from a year ago on the back of strong demand in Europe, data showed.

The results indicate a strong recovery for the nation’s machine tool sector, which suffered an annual decline of 16.2 percent last year amid a slow economic recovery around the world.

Taiwan’s machine tool exports were US$813.89 million last quarter, up from US$778.06 million a year ago, data compiled by the Taiwan Machine Tool & Accessory Builders’ Association (TMBA) showed.

“There is growth momentum for machine tool exports because of better global economic conditions this year, and we expect year-on-year growth will increase from quarter to quarter this year,” association secretary-general Carl Huang (黃建中) said by telephone yesterday.

Huang maintained his forecast that machine tool exports this year would rise 10 percent from last year.

Exports to Turkey, the fourth-largest overseas market of the sector, rose by an annual rate of 20.7 percent to US$42.33 million last quarter from US$35.06 million, while shipments to Germany, the fifth-largest market, grew 30.6 percent to US$31.04 million from US$23.77 million, data showed.

Goods sold to China, the sector’s main export destination, increased 5.1 percent year-on-year to US$256.44 million from US$243.99 million.

Huang said Chinese companies have suffered from a lack of funds, and some chose to purchase products from Taiwan instead of Japan because of lower prices.

Shipments to the US, the sector’s second-largest export destination, dropped 9.4 percent to US$87.65 million, from US$96.76 million a year ago.

Huang said exports to the US tend to fluctuate from month to month, but he remains positive about US demand this year.

Political turmoil in Thailand, the sector’s third-largest export destination, caused Taiwan’s exports to fall by 23.6 percent to US$43.82 million last quarter, from US$57.36 million the previous year, data showed.

Huang said exports to Thailand could rise if sales by Japanese automakers, many of which have production bases in Thailand, grow this year.

Meanwhile, tensions between Russia and Ukraine poses a risk for machine tool exports to Europe this year, while the tight credit situation in China is another risk for shipments there, he said.

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