Fri, Feb 17, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Machinery manufacturers upbeat over value growth

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter

The production value of the nation’s machinery manufacturing sector is expected to grow slightly and reach more than NT$1 trillion (US$32.48 billion) for the first time this year amid a stable domestic and global economic recovery, the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI, 台灣機械公會) said yesterday.

The total output of the machinery manufacturing sector last year increased 3 percent from a year earlier to NT$990 billion, TAMI chairman Alex Ko (柯拔希) said by telephone.

Ko gave a positive outlook for this year, saying that local machinery companies have seen a significant increase in orders amid a recovering global economy and growing demand for high-end machinery and aviation products.

However, Ko said he is concerned about continued depreciation of the Japanese yen, as it would increase competition in the global machinery market.

The yen has been falling since late 2012, due mainly to monetary easing and other economic policies pursued by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and has posed challenges to Taiwanese machinery manufacturers, Ko said.

A weak yen against the US dollar is unfavorable because it might diminish orders to Taiwanese machinery suppliers, he said.

“The central bank should not take the loose monetary policies implemented in the nation’s trade rivals lightly and should take steps to cope with rapid changes in the global currency market,” he told the Taipei Times.

Ko made the remarks after the Taipei-based association last week released the latest industry statistics, saying that the pace of recovery remains stable.

According to the association’s data, the nation’s machinery exports last month increased 7.9 percent from a year earlier to US$1.86 billion.

Machinery shipments to China, the sector’s largest export destination, surged 25.6 percent from a year earlier to US$452.6 billion, while exports to the US, the sector’s second-largest export destination, declined 12.9 percent annually to US$328.1 billion, data showed.

Hiwin Technologies Co (上銀科技), one of the nation’s leading machinery makers, last month saw revenue increase 26.5 percent annually to NT$1.27 billion, marking the second-highest level in the firm’s history for that month.

The Taipei International Machine Tool Show is to open next month in a bid to attract global customers, TAMI said, adding that more than 1,000 local companies will attend the show.

The event is expected to fetch orders valued at US$2 billion, it said.

Last year, Taiwan’s machinery exports fell 1.7 percent annually to US$21.1 billion, but are expected to grow between 5 and 10 percent this year, TAMI said.

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