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Taiwan manufacturing sector revenue to drop about 2.5%

Taiwan manufacturing sector revenue to drop about 2.5%

TAIPEI: Total revenue from the nation’s manufacturing sector this year is expected to fall from last year, due to continued decline in crude oil and stainless steel prices, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

“We expect annual revenues in the manufacturing sector to drop about 2.5 percent from last year’s NT$27.33 trillion (US$829.44 billion),” Department of Statistics Deputy Director-General Yang Kuei-hsien said by telephone.

Yang’s remarks came after the ministry released the manufacturing sector’s revenues for last quarter, in which the figure dropped 5.6 percent annually to NT$6.56 trillion.

Last quarter’s result marked the second consecutive quarter of annual decline in sales in the manufacturing sector, the data showed.

In the first three quarters of this year, the combined revenues from the nation’s manufacturing sector totaled NT$19.4 trillion, down 2.5 percent from the same period last year, the ministry said.

“Low crude oil and stainless steel prices was the main factor. The weaker-than-expected international economy also dragged down the sector’s revenues this year,” Yang said.

He said that the nation’s petrochemical and stainless steel industries suffered the most due to falling prices, adding that the average cost of flat-panel and DRAM products also affected the overall revenue performance of the manufacturing sector.

On a quarterly basis, computer-electronics goods and optical components were the highlights in Taiwan’s manufacturing sector last quarter, Yang said.

Yang said sales reached a record high of NT$2.33 trillion last quarter, thanks to the launch of a series of Apple Inc products that drove the performance of Taiwan’s contract electronics makers.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, one of Apple’s iPhone assemblers, reported revenues of NT$1.06 trillion last quarter, while Pegatron Corp, another iPhone assembler, posted sales of NT$311.84 billion over the same period.

Yang said total revenues of the manufacturing sector this quarter might still decline from last year’s NT$7.42 trillion due to a higher base, but the ministry expects Taiwan’s contract electronics makers’ strong performance to extend to this quarter and slightly offset the weakness of other industries in the manufacturing sector.