TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan’s manufacturing sector continued to be hurt by trade tensions between the United States and China as its production value declined again in the second quarter, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
The output value of Taiwanese manufacturers totaled NT$3.32 trillion (US$105.73 billion) in the second quarter, down 4.57 percent from a year earlier, after declining 4.95 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, MOEA data showed.
Electronic component makers saw their production value fall 6.42 percent from a year earlier to NT$859.1 billion in the quarter, which accounted for almost 26 percent of the manufacturing sector’s total, the data showed.
In the electronic component segment, the MOEA said, semiconductor suppliers suffered a 3.13 percent year-on-year decline in output value in the quarter as lower demand from end-users of tech gadgets sent shipments of IC makers lower.
Among other electronic component categories, the production value of flat panel producers plunged 13.38 percent from a year earlier due to low prices caused by a global supply glut, the MOEA said.
Bucking the downturn, the computer, electronics and optoelectronics sector posted a 20.93 percent year-on-year increase in production value to NT$188.4 billion as local exporters expanded their production capacity in Taiwan for the U.S. market to steer clear of U.S. tariffs on Chinese made goods.
The MOEA said the sector also benefited from solid demand for automotive electronics applications, temperature controllers, and Internet communications devices.
The old economy segment also reported a year-on-year fall in production value in the second quarter because of unfavorable global economic conditions, the MOEA said.
The production value of machinery and production equipment fell 10.79 percent from a year earlier to NT$167.3 billion in the quarter as market uncertainty limited the orders placed by foreign buyers, the data showed.
The base metal industry saw its output value fall 11.29 percent from a year earlier to NT$341.1 billion in the quarter, while the auto and auto parts business remained resilient, reporting a 0.83 percent decline in the value of its production to NT$95.6 billion.
The MOEA said the electronics sector has now entered its traditional peak season, which should give the overall manufacturing sector a boost in the second half of the year.
By Tsai Peng-min and Frances Huang