Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團) chairman William Wong (王文淵) yesterday expressed pessimism over the textile and petrochemical industries’ outlook from this quarter to next year, citing low prices.
“Market demand is flat and product prices have stayed low as clients remain conservative,” Wang said after the opening of the Taipei Innovative Textile Application Show, adding that he has yet to see signs of a rebound.
Asked whether Taiwanese companies would benefit from diverted orders amid a US-China trade dispute, Wang said the effect would be limited.
The group’s textile and petrochemical businesses declined at the end of the second quarter and turned worse last quarter, he said.
As the trade dispute lingers, companies need to make long-term plans and prepare for the worst next year, he added.
Polyester and textile maker Far Eastern New Century Corp (遠東新世紀) chairman Douglas Hsu (徐旭東) said business in general could slow down next year, but the textile industry might not be that badly affected, as manufacturers continue to introduce new functional, sustainable and smart apparel.
Local textile firms have also increased their investments in automated production to stay competitive, suggesting there is still demand and the business could grow, he said.
“We should stay positive about the textile industry,” Hsu said.
The show, which is on its 23rd year, is being held at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center through tomorrow.
It focuses on functional applications, such as super-lightweight, down-proof, tear-proof and water-repellent textile products, from Taiwan, event organizer the Taiwan Textile Federation (紡拓會) said.
During the three-day show, several companies are showcasing clothing made from recycled PET bottles, fishing nets and other plastic waste collected from the ocean, as well as smart textile products that can detect physiological signals, such as body temperature, calorie consumption and blood pressure, the federation said.
Smart manufacturing is one of the themes of the show, with some companies displaying their automated production systems, such as an intelligent spreading system that improves production efficiency, and technologies that help integrate digital applications, the federation said.
A total of 423 companies from 12 nations are attending this year’s show, occupying 1,058 booths, it said.
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