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Taiwan's industrial production drops for 4th straight month in March

2019/04/23 21:53:32

Photo for illustrative purposes only / CNA file photo

Taipei, April 23 (CNA) Industrial production in Taiwan fell year-on-year in March for the fourth consecutive month as the country continued to feel the pinch from a decline in the global economy, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Tuesday.

A reduced number of working days in March and a relatively high comparison base over the same period of last year also contributed to the drop, the MOEA said.

Industrial production fell 9.88 percent in March from a year earlier to 103.82, the steepest year-on-year decline since January 2012, when it plunged 15.91 percent, MOEA data showed.

According to the data, the sub-index of the manufacturing sector, which accounts for more than 90 percent of total industrial production, fell 10.52 percent from a year earlier to 104.48, the largest fall since January 2012, when it dropped 16.81 percent year-on-year.

Wang Shu-chuan (王淑娟), deputy head of the MOEA's statistics department, said the electronics industry was the sector most heavily affected in March by the drop in global demand.

Local semiconductor firms were faced with falling demand as their customers continued to adjust inventories, while demand for mining devices for cryptocurrency transactions also declined, Wang said.

In March, production in the electronics component segment fell 14.92 percent from a year earlier, with integrated circuit firms seeing a 21.29 percent decline and flat panel makers experiencing a 7.05 percent drop, the MOEA said.

Bucking the downturn, the computer and optoelectronics segment posted a 13.87 percent increase in production from a year earlier, with server suppliers expanding production capacity and smartphone camera lens makers rolling out more products, the MOEA said.

It was the sixth consecutive month that the segment saw double digit growth in production.

In the chemical material industry, production fell 4.89 percent in March from a year earlier due to production interruptions caused by annual maintenance and safety accidents, according to the ministry.

Production in the machinery industry fell 17.90 percent year-on-year in March amid trade frictions between the United States and China, while production in the auto and auto-parts industry dropped 14.59 percent due to escalating competition from imported models, the MOEA said.

In the first three months of the year, industrial production fell 4.58 percent from a year earlier, while the sub-index for the manufacturing sector dropped 4.80 percent, the MOEA data showed.

Looking ahead, Wang said industrial production is expected to fall year-on-year in April amid unfavorable external factors, but the decline will be smaller, as there will be comparatively more working days and a relatively low comparison base over the same period of last year.

(By Liao Yu-yang and Frances Huang)
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