Taiwan’s flat-panel industry has emerged from the doldrums thanks to a COVID-19-related surge in demand, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
Production value in the industry last year grew 0.3 percent from 2019, ending two years of declines, the ministry said in a statement.
The local flat-panel industry was affected by oversupply due to Chinese competition in 2018 and 2019, with its production value dropping 16.9 percent annually to NT$725.4 billion (US$25.47 billion at the current exchange rate) in 2019, a 14-year low, ministry data showed.
Photo: Chen Mei-ying, Taipei Times
However, the boom last year due to demand for information and communications technology (ICT) products amid work-from-home and distance-learning trends caused the flat-panel market to recover, the ministry said.
In addition, the local industry’s production value grew 11.2 percent year-on-year in the second half of last year, the largest increase for the period since 2013, it said.
Panels larger than 10 inches provided most of the growth last year, the ministry said.
They accounted for 58.3 percent of total sales and generated production value of NT$424.2 billion, up 4.6 percent from a year earlier, it said.
However, small and medium-sized panels suffered amid a slowdown in the cellphone panel market and US sanctions on Chinese tech firms, with production value decreasing 12.5 percent year-on-year, it said.
China, including Hong Kong, remained the largest shipment destination for Taiwanese flat panels last year, with exports totaling NT$6.92 billion, up 5.3 percent year-on-year, the ministry said.
Exports of flat panels increased 5.3 percent from 2019, while Chinese panel exports contracted 4.7 percent, South Korea’s dropped 5.6 percent and Japan’s fell 6.2 percent, the data showed.
“It is a sign that Taiwanese manufacturers are keen to return and invest in Taiwan,” Department of Statistics Deputy Director-General Huang Wei-jie (黃偉傑) said.
“They are laying the groundwork to manufacture for automotive, medical, e-sports and other higher-value products, which is a positive development for the Taiwanese panel industry,” Huang said.
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