Machinery exports expanded 37.4 percent year-on-year to a record US$2.97 billion last month, with the largest growth in machine tools, statistics compiled by the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry showed yesterday.
That marked the 12th consecutive monthly growth since September last year, the association said in a statement.
Exports of machine tools surged 62 percent year-on-year to US$260 million last month, the fastest growth since the start of a US-China trade dispute.
Photo: Lin Jin-hua, Taipei Times
Exports of electronics manufacturing equipment climbed 58.4 percent annually to US$461 million, making it the biggest contributor to overall machinery exports, the statistics showed.
Inspection tools were second with exports of US$396 million, with machine tools third, the data showed.
In the first eight months of the year, machinery exports jumped 29.3 percent annually to US$21.52 billion, the statistics showed.
Despite the strong growth, the association said that an uptrend in the New Taiwan dollar against the world’s major currencies has put Taiwanese manufacturers at a disadvantage when competing with peers from Japan, South Korea and China.
The NT dollar has appreciated 2.93 percent against the US dollar since the beginning of this year, compared with the yuan’s rise of 0.98 percent, it said.
The yen has dropped 6.79 percent, while the won has depreciated 7.13 percent, the association said.
The foreign-exchange rate differences have adversely affected local manufacturers’ competitiveness in pricing by about 10 percent, the association said.
It urged the government to act swiftly to help local companies to fend off competition from rivals.
Moreover, local machinery companies are facing rising manufacturing costs, it said.
Shipping costs have surged eight-fold to 10-fold due to the global COVID-19 situation, while prices for raw materials are also on the rise, with steel prices climbing 40 percent so far this year, the association said.
Congestion at ports has compounded the situation, it said.
However, demand looks healthy this year and next year, the association said.
Machinery exports are expected to continue growing this year, it said.
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