Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) yesterday said that the ministry would work with local manufacturers to assess the effects of flailing oil prices, after international crude prices on Monday suffered their worst day since 1991 amid a price dispute between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
“The current outlook for Taiwan’s economic development appears to be shrouded in a lot of uncertainties,” Shen told reporters prior to attending a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Economics Committee, referring to the crash of oil markets.
“We will hold meetings with businesses in the ICT [information and communication technology] industry, the consumer goods industry, the chemical materials industry and the base metal industry as well as the machinery equipment industry,” Shen said, adding that the ministry would also consult the services sector, which depends largely on domestic market demand.
Photo: Lin Ching-hua, Taipei Times
The ministry would seek opinions and suggestions across these industries to devise a plan to assist businesses facing challenges, he said.
The ministry would closely monitor the effects of fluctuating oil prices on Taiwanese industries, he added.
Global oil prices recovered to some degree on Tuesday, but dipped again yesterday, with benchmarks Brent Crude and West Texas Intermediate Crude declining about 3 to 4 percent to between US$33 and US$35 per barrel.
Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (台灣經濟研究院) analyst Lo Kai-chen (羅凱禎) said that domestic petrochemical businesses are facing inevitable declines this quarter, as they already face slumping market demand due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chinese-language Liberty Times (sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) reported.
With oil prices falling, some hope the ministry would freeze electricity prices at the electricity price review committee meeting next week.
The committee has left rates unchanged since September 2018.
The ministry said that state-run Taiwan Power Co (台電) would refrain from increasing rates for mask makers so they can meet daily production targets of 10 million masks by next week.
State-owned Taiwan Sugar Corp (台糖) also said that it would extend payments owed until the end of the year for businesses that have leased land from it.
Meanwhile, state-run oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) might adjust downward its weekly prices for domestic gasoline and diesel products by between NT$3.6 and NT$3.8 next week, which would be the largest cut in history based on CPC's floating oil price formula.
From India to China to the US, automakers cannot make vehicles — not that no one wants any, but because a more than US$450 billion industry for semiconductors got blindsided. How did both sides end up here? Over the past two weeks, automakers across the world have bemoaned the shortage of chips. Germany’s Audi, owned by Volkswagen AG, would delay making some of its high-end vehicles because of what chief executive officer Markus Duesmann called a “massive” shortfall in an interview with the Financial Times. The firm has furloughed more than 10,000 workers and reined in production. That is a further blow
MOBILE SMART: The Dimensity 1200 is 22 percent better in terms of performance than its predecessor, and 25 percent more power-efficient, the handset chip designer said MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday unveiled its premium 5G processors — the Dimensity 1200 and Dimensity 1100 — as it vies for a larger slice of the world’s rapidly growing 5G smartphone market. Manufactured using Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (台積電) 6-nanometer process technology, the Dimensity 1200 processor performs 22 percent better than the previous generation Dimensity 1000+ processor, and is 25 percent more power-efficient, MediaTek said. Chinese smartphone brands Xiaomi Corp (小米) and Realme Mobile Telecommunications (Shenzhen) Co (銳爾覓移動通信) are to be the first adopters of the latest Dimensity chips, the companies said during a virtual media briefing. Xiaomi plans to equip its first
‘BROAD RANGE’: The US Department of Commerce intends to deny a significant number of license requests for exports to Huawei, an industry association said US President Donald Trump’s administration notified Huawei Technologies Co (華為) suppliers, including chipmaker Intel Corp, that it is revoking certain licenses to sell to the Chinese company and intends to reject dozens of other applications to supply the telecommunications firm, people familiar with the matter told reporters. The action — likely the last against Huawei under Trump — is the latest in a long-running effort to weaken the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, which Washington sees as a national security threat. The notices came amid a flurry of US efforts against China in the final days of Trump’s administration. US president-elect Joe
Answering to a reported request by Germany to help address a chip shortage in its auto industry, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday said that it was in talks with domestic chip suppliers. Foreign media over the weekend reported that German Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier had sent a request to Taipei to ask Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) to cooperate more closely with German automakers to provide microchips and sensors, to bridge a shortage that has emerged over the past few months. The MOEA said that it had not yet received the request and could therefore not elaborate