The climate monitor for Taiwan’s manufacturing industry last month flashed “green” for the fifth consecutive month, indicating that operations held steady, despite uncertainty due to worsening inflation and geopolitical tensions, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, 台經院) said yesterday.
The composite index for the manufacturing industry rose 0.92 points to 15.16, as the readings on input and demand increased, while the measures on the operating environment and selling prices decreased, the Taipei-based think tank said, adding that the cost gauge stayed unchanged.
Export orders and industrial output rose by double-digit percentage points in February, thanks to a continued recovery in the global economy, the institute said.
Photo: Yang Chin-cheng, Taipei Times
However, the war between Russia and Ukraine pushed up international crude oil and raw material prices, and triggered panic sell-offs across global bourses, weighing on operating confidence, it said.
TIER uses a five-color system to measure the industry’s health, with red indicating a boom, yellow-red suggesting an uptrend, green indicating a stable state, yellow-blue signaling a slowdown and blue representing a contraction.
The input side reported the fastest advance of 1.17 points, while demand added a fractional 0.39 points, the institute said.
The climate for manufacturers of livelihood goods, such as textile products, yielded a yellow-red signal, as selling prices picked up on the back of an improving global economy, it said.
Paper product makers also posted a red signal, as they benefited from a seasonal increase in purchasing activity, it said.
However, a lack of cotton and other raw material supplies limited growth, it added.
Suppliers of petrochemical products fared strongly, as crude oil product prices grew more than 10 percent, allowing exports of related products to more than double, it found.
Soaring oil prices took a toll on manufacturers of plastic and rubber products, dragging their gauge into sluggish territory, it said.
Domestic steelmakers saw their business and selling prices thrive, backed by demand from infrastructure enhancement projects in major economies, it said.
China’s economic slowdown put pressure on local suppliers of machinery equipment, it said.
Electronic component vendors continued to enjoy support from digital transformation and emerging technologies, but material and labor shortages constrained business, it said.
Makers of auto parts said business slackened, as evidenced by a 10 percent drop in auto sales, it said, attributing the decline to a persistent chip shortage that hampered auto production in the US and Europe.
Sales of motorcycles rose 3 percent, but component price hikes and government subsidy exits prompted makers to turn conservative about input amid concern over lackluster sales ahead, it said.
This week’s undoing of the TerraUSD algorithmic stablecoin and its sister token, Luna, has ramifications for all of crypto. First, there is the immediate impact: The rapid collapse of a once-popular pair of cryptocurrencies sent a ripple effect across the industry, contributing to plummeting coin prices that wiped hundreds of billions of market value from the digital-asset market and stoked worries over the potential fragility of digital-asset ventures. Then there are the knock-on effects. In addition to delivering punishing losses to individual users and investment firms, the spectacular failure of a market darling like Terra threatens to have a cooling effect
China’s biggest chipmaker has cut its outlook for the second quarter, joining a growing list of manufacturers warning about the fallout from lockdowns aimed at containing the country’s worst COVID-19 outbreak in two years. Semiconductor Manufacturing International Co (SMIC, 中芯) estimates a month-long lockdown in Shanghai could spur component shortages and logistics tangles, and erase about 5 percent of its output in the second quarter. “We are trying our best to mitigate the impact on product delivery,” SMIC Chairman Gao Yonggang (高永崗) told analysts on a call yesterday morning. “We are still assessing the actual impact as many suppliers restart their
Formosa Plastics Corp (台灣塑膠), the flagship entity of Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團), yesterday said that it would build a new manufacturing site in Texas at a cost of US$207 million. When completed, the plant would have an annual capacity of 100,000 tonnes of alpha olefins, which are used to make high-density polyethylene (HDPE), among other products, the company said. About 63,000 tonnes would be used by Formosa Plastics, while the remaining 37,000 tonnes would be sold on the international market, it said. The projected completion date of the plant is October 2025, and mass production is scheduled for December that year after a
DISRUPTIONS: The war in Ukraine, China’s lockdown measures, rising interest rates and inflation have thrown a wrench into business plans made years in advance Samsung Electronics Co is talking with foundry clients about charging as much as 20 percent more for making semiconductors this year, joining an industry-wide push to hike prices to cover rising costs of materials and logistics. Contract-based chip prices are likely to rise around 15 percent to 20 percent, depending upon the level of sophistication, people familiar with the matter said. Chips produced on legacy nodes would face bigger price hikes, while new pricing would be applied from the second half of this year, they said, adding that Samsung has finished negotiating with some clients and is in discussions with others. Samsung’s decision