Export orders last month fell for the 10th consecutive month, with an annual drop of 8.3 percent, the largest decline since February, due to lower demand for information and communications technology (ICT) products amid the US-China trade dispute, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
Export orders for ICT products dropped 9.7 percent from a year earlier to US$10.47 billion, the biggest fall since an 11.1 percent decline in February, the ministry said.
August is usually the high season for the industry, with local suppliers providing more new components for clients such as Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co, which launch products in September, the ministry said.
However, this year local suppliers gained fewer orders, as clients have become more conservative about consumer demand for high-end smartphones due to new tariffs to affect products in December and global economic growth slowing, Department of Statistics Director Huang Yu-ling (黃于玲) told a news conference in Taipei.
Orders for notebooks last month were also sluggish, as clients placed increased orders last quarter, hoping to avoid the tariffs, the ministry said.
As orders for notebooks from June to last month remained flat from a year earlier, the ministry was not worried about the decline last month, Huang said.
Orders for electronics decreased 5.4 percent annually, affected by decreasing prices of DRAM and passive components compared with a year earlier, while orders for IC designs and wafers improved, thanks to the development of 5G technology, the ministry said.
Orders for machinery equipment plummeted 26.2 percent year-on-year to US$1.63 billion, the largest fall since the sector began sinking in November last year, Huang said, adding that demand dragged as clients postponed or canceled expansion plans amid the trade dispute.
The ministry would continue to assist local machine tool makers to obtain new orders and help them negotiate with China Steel Corp (中鋼) to set reasonable prices for steel products, which would help stabilize those businesses, Huang said.
Orders for petrochemical and plastic products sank 19.2 percent and 10.1 percent year-on-year respectively to US$1.62 billion and US$1.84 billion as oil prices fell, the ministry said.
As more companies have relocated their production bases from China to Taiwan, the overseas production ratio dropped from 52 percent a year earlier to 50.4 percent, with the ICT sector falling from 94.0 percent to 90.5 percent, ministry data showed.
For the first eight months, export orders totaled US$303.43 billion, down 6.3 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.
The outlook for the next three months of this year is not upbeat either, Huang said.
“Export orders are forecast to continue falling through November due to a high comparison base last year and conservative market sentiment,” she said.
December might be the only month to report an annual gain in orders, on the back of sales of new smartphones and a low comparison base last year, she said.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in
With the US dollar expected to weaken in the next 12 months due to near-zero interest rates, investors should consider purchasing US corporate bonds, Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行) said on Thursday. The bank said that the US Federal Reserve since last month has been buying bonds issued by US companies to curb default rates. The US dollar is forecast to be weaker against the pound, the euro and the yen, as well as the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona and the Swiss franc, as the greenback lacks high investment returns after the Fed in March slashed the benchmark interest rate
A Bollywood actor’s face tattooed on his arm, Sandeep Bacche’s devotion shocks few in India where stars enjoy semi-divine status, but even there the hallowed silver screen might be losing its shine to streaming services and pandemic fears. “Whenever things get better and theaters begin operations, I will watch three movies a day for sure just as a way to celebrate,” said the Mumbai rickshaw driver, who is recovering from the virus himself. However, others might not join the party. With cinemas shut for months due to a COVID-19 lockdown, and little prospect they will reopen soon, frustrated Bollywood producers have turned to