Yang Ming head optimistic
Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運) chairman Bronson Hsieh (謝志堅) yesterday gave a positive outlook on the global cargo shipping sector this year, saying that he expects a supply glut-induced slump in freight rates to ease. This year marks a trough for the sector, as demand is expected to grow 3.8 percent, exceeding a 3.2 percent rise in supply, setting the conditions for a recovery, Hsieh said. The sector is also to be helped by lower fuel costs, he said, adding that crude oil prices are expected to hover at about US$65 per barrel, compared with last year’s average of US$70. “It is all good news to us as long as the US$70 mark is not breached,” Hsieh said. As a trade dispute between Beijing and Washington continues to unravel, the company is closely monitoring the migration of factories to alternate destinations outside of China to better plan its service routes, he said.
CPC facing pricing pressure
CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油) vice president Lee Shun-chin (李順欽) yesterday said that the company is facing increasing pressure to keep its 2007 promise to maintain Taiwan’s oil prices as the lowest among Asian nations. Instead of a NT$0.8 hike to reflect rising international crude prices as dictated by its floating pricing mechanism, the state-run refiner is to slash its rates by NT$0.1 per liter, Lee said, adding that in the past, the mandated pricing limit did not affect the company’s ability to reflect fluctuations in global crude prices. However, in this month alone the company has been unable to raise its prices due to its pledge, Lee said, adding that the firm is drafting a new pricing mechanism similar to the Mean of Platts Singapore, an assessment process employed by the city-state. In related news, amid rumors of a leadership shakeup, CPC chairman Tai Chein (戴謙) did not attend an annual media gathering in Taipei yesterday.
Samsung upbeat on sales
Samsung Electronics Co yesterday said that it expects sales of its latest Galaxy S10 series of flagship smartphones to rise more than 10 percent annually from last year’s Galaxy S9. The technology giant forecast that sales of its premium S10 and larger-screen S10+ would each make up 40 percent of sales, while the budget S10e model would contribute 20 percent this year. The company said that it also aims to improve its sales distribution of flagship, midrange and low-end smartphones in Taiwan from a 20 percent, 20 percent and 60 percent split respectively to a healthier 30 percent, 30 percent and 40 percent mix. Samsung added that it has not ruled out introducing its US$1,980 folding smartphone to Taiwan.
Yuan deposits extend fall
Yuan deposits held by Taiwan’s banks last month dropped for the fourth consecutive month to 290.27 billion yuan (US$43.21 billion), a 2.74 percent decrease from a month earlier, as investors lost interest in the currency, the central bank said yesterday. The figure represented the lowest level since June 2014 as the yuan increasingly loses its appeal as an investment tool. The retreat in yuan deposits was linked to corporate accounts wiring money to China to settle payments and distribute year-end bonuses, the central bank said, adding that the People’s Bank of China eased monetary operations to help support the Chinese economy, which lowered yuan-based borrowing costs.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
Swancor Renewable Energy Co (上緯新能源) yesterday announced plans for a 4.4 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind project off Miaoli County as part of its commitment toward Taiwan’s energy transformation, the company said in a statement. The “Formosa 4” project includes three deep-water wind farms 18km to 20km off the coast, Swancor Renewable CEO Lucas Lin (林雍堯) said, adding that planning for the project began last year. A proposal for Formosa 4 was this week submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company said. Swancor Renewable jointly developed the Formosa 1 project, a 128 megawatt (MW) wind farm about 4km off Miaoli and the
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,