The nation’s industrial production last month increased 7.06 percent year-on-year, but slid 1.4 percent from September’s record peak, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
It was the ninth straight month of continuous year-on-year growth for industrial production, as demand for information and communications technology products remained strong, the ministry said, but added that demand might have peaked.
“The demand for COVID-19-related electronics is still robust when you look at it on a year-on-year basis, even though it is down from last month’s record,” Department of Statistics Deputy Director-General Huang Wei-jie (黃偉傑) told a news conference in Taipei.
By sector, production of electronic components was up 16.93 percent year-on-year, but down 1.35 percent monthly. In particular, production of integrated circuits rose 23.03 percent annually, but fell 2.98 percent monthly, the ministry said in a report.
Production of LCDs and associated components was up 9.41 percent from a year earlier, although it was down 1.37 percent from the previous month, and that of electronic and optical products increased 6.2 percent annually, but declined 5.76 percent monthly, the report showed.
“Due to strong demand from a new electronic product release, the continued work-from-home demand, and 5G and high-performance computing needs, the electronic components sector reported the 11th month of continuous growth in production,” Huang said. “The flat-panel display sector posted increases both in price and volume, which also boosted production.”
Production of chemical materials last month expanded 8.95 percent year-on-year due to increased demand for epidemic prevention-related products as well as a lower comparison base last year, which saw plummeting oil prices and the US-China trade dispute weighing on production.
On a monthly basis, the sector’s production increased 11.81 percent, the report showed.
Production of base metal products moved up 7.52 percent from a year earlier, which Huang attributed to a lower comparison base for the same reasons, as well as rising international steel prices.
Production was up 3.66 percent from the previous month.
“There is a return to demand from downstream industries such as automotive, mechanical, home appliance and construction,” Huang said of the uptrend in the base metals sector.
Mechanical equipment production fell 0.21 percent year-on-year and 4.54 percent month-on-month, while output of automobiles and auto parts was up 1.05 percent annually and 9.52 percent monthly, the report showed.
Overall, the nation’s industrial production for the first 10 months of this year increased 6.47 percent from the same period last year.
Looking forward, the ministry said that 11.6 percent of local manufacturers surveyed said they think production this month would increase from last month, while 73.8 percent predicted it would hold steady and 14.7 percent said it would decrease.
While COVID-19 remains a pressing concern in Europe and the US, Huang said he does not expect the situation to become as severe as it was earlier this year.
“The difference between the second wave and the first wave of lockdowns is that only non-essentials facilities are subject to mandatory shutdowns,” Huang said. “The impact on industry is hopefully going to be far less.”
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