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Manufacturing sector sales grow for 8th straight quarter

2018/12/15 17:16:17

Taipei, Dec. 15 (CNA) The local manufacturing sector posted a year-on-year increase in sales in the third quarter of this year for the eighth consecutive quarter on solid global demand, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

Data compiled by the MOEA shows that Taiwanese manufacturers generated about NT$7.26 trillion (US$235 billion) during the July-September period, up 7.5 percent from a year earlier, after a 6.6 percent year-on-year increase in the second quarter.

The third-quarter sales also rose 9.9 percent from a quarter earlier, according to the MOEA.

In the wake of rising raw material prices, the chemical, oil/coal and base metal industries reported double-digit sales increases in the third quarter, the MOEA said.

Sales posted in those sectors rose 14.7 percent, 23.3 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively, to NT$588.5 billion, NT$484.4 billion and NT$356.1 billion in the third quarter, the data shows.

In the third quarter, the computer/optoelectronics industry accounted for more than 33 percent of the total sales in the manufacturing sector, the highest among all of the industries in the sector.

In the three-month period, the computer/optoelectronics industry posted NT$2.42 trillion in sales, up 7.3 percent from a year earlier on the back of international brands' efforts to launch handheld devices, which boosted shipments by Taiwanese assemblers.

Benefitting from strong demand for semiconductors, including memory chips, as well as passive components such as chip resistors, inductors and multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCC), the electronics component industry posted a 5.8 percent year-on-year increase in sales that totaled NT$1.47 trillion, the MOEA said.

However, the sales growth in the electronics component industry was compromised by falling flat panel prices and weakening demand for solar energy devices, the MOEA added.

The machinery industry, which secured support from rising demand for production automation, posted NT$279.3 billion in sales for the third quarter, up 3.8 percent from a year earlier, the MOEA said.

However, trade tension between the United States and China imposed an adverse impact on orders received by the machinery industry and eventually made the sales growth moderate for the industry, the ministry said.

The MOEA said the local manufacturing sector is expected to continue to post a year-on-year increase in sales for the fourth quarter due to a year-end buying spree worldwide.

However, the Washington-Beijing trade dispute is expected to create uncertainty for global demand, the MOEA added.

Meanwhile, the MOEA said the local manufacturing sector spent NT$287.9 billion in fixed-asset purchases in the third quarter, up 24.3 percent from a year earlier, as the electronics component industry was keen to expand its capacity and add production equipment.

(By Liao Yu-yang and Frances Huang)