Prices of Japan imports should be cut: Perng

By Ted Chen ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Following the yen’s five straight monthly declines, central bank Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) said yesterday that a 15-percent cut to the price of Japanese goods would be appropriate in light of importers’ windfall from exchange rate changes. “During the yen’s five months of consecutive declines, importers of Japanese goods would have exhausted the majority of inventory that was purchased when the yen was stronger, therefore they can no longer use that excuse to refuse price cuts,” Perng said.

Citing the movement of the New Taiwan dollar, which dipped below the NT$29.90 mark against the greenback in early-hours trade yesterday, an opposition party lawmaker questioned whether Perng would allow the currency to continue its decline. The governor responded by reiterating that the exchange rate is mainly determined by the international market, and that the central bank is only concerned with the task of “active stabilization,” implying that further declines have not been ruled out.

Perng said that the central bank does not act on the whims of industries, for example the technology sector, which has benefited the most from the yen.

Ruling party lawmakers urged the Fair Trade Commission (公平會), Bureau of Foreign Trade (國貿局), Legislative Yuan, Consumer Protection Committee and other related governing bodies to actively monitor and investigate the pricing of imported Japanese goods.

Japanese Vehicle Vendors not Considering Price Cut Meanwhile, importers of Japanese automobiles yesterday said that they are not currently considering a price cut, while adding that consumers may take advantage their promotional discount programs.

Citing the Japanese currency’s recent surge in February after the Italian election, a Nissan Taiwan spokesperson said yesterday that the yen has not seen marked stabilization, and therefore the company remains hesitant to initiate price cuts based on exchange rates, instead favoring promotional discounts to draw buyers. The spokesperson also mentioned that only about 30 percent of the firm’s costs are related to the yen’s fluctuation, with the majority of parts sourced from Southeast Asia and China.

Mazda lowered its prices in Taiwan late last month, with discounts ranging from NT$10,000 to NT$40,000 for many of its models. While China Motors Corp. (中華汽車), a major importer of Mitsubishi vehicles, and Hotai Motors (和泰汽車), a major importer of Toyota and Lexus vehicles, have not shown any sign of consenting to recommendations for a price cut.