Taiwan’s optical lens industry generated a total production value of NT$31.6 billion (US$1.02 billion) in the first half of the year, up 13.9 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
It credited the gain to the increasing popularity of multiple-camera smartphones and a growing automotive camera market.
The nation’s optical lens industry used to focus largely on lenses for film and digital cameras, but as mobile phones have steadily taken a share from the camera market, the industry has shifted its focus to lenses for mobile devices, it said.
In the first six months of the year, optical lenses for mobile devices made up 81.9 percent of the industry’s total output value, compared with 2012 when they only accounted for 45.5 percent, it said.
In the first eight months of the year, total optical lens exports increased by 9.6 percent to US$1.46 billion, with China and Hong Kong the biggest markets, accounting for 68.4 percent of total shipments, the ministry said.
As Taiwanese electronics manufacturers strengthen their presence in Southeast Asia, the optical lens industry’s exports to Vietnam have grown, now accounting for 16.5 percent of total exports, it said.
The first seven months of the year saw Taiwan overtake Japan in exports of optical lenses for the first time, as Japan reported a decline of 13.6 percent to US$1.16 billion, while Taiwan recorded US$1.21 billion, the ministry said.
Japan saw a negative compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8 percent in exports of optical lenses from 2012 to last year, while Taiwan registered a CAGR of 14.4 percent, ministry data showed.
Japan has been steadily losing market share in China, accounting for just 25.4 percent in the first seven months of the year, compared with 46.1 percent in 2012.
Taiwan has benefitted by snapping a 47.6 percent share of the market in China from January to July, compared with 14 percent in 2012.
SOUTH KOREA GAINS
However, Taiwanese manufacturers facing rising competition from their South Korean counterparts, who gained a 6.8 percent share of China’s market, along with a slight increase of 0.2 percent in its total exports of optical lenses over the same period.
South Korea posted a CAGR of 3.4 percent in exports of optical lenses from 2012 to last year, the ministry data showed.
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