cens logo

Taiwan's Machinery Exports Down a Second Month in April

Recently rallying NT-dollar saps competitiveness of Taiwanese machinery

May 25, 2015 | By Ken Liu

Compiled by KEN LIU

Taiwan's machinery exports decline a second month in April due to currency exchange turbulence. (a machinery trade show shown)Taiwan's machinery exports decline a second month in April due to currency exchange turbulence. (a machinery trade show shown)

Taiwan's machinery exports declined year-on-year for a second month in April due to a recently stronger NT-dollar relative to Japanese yen and South Korean won against U.S. dollar, according to the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI), which represents around 3,000 local machinery manufacturers.

On year-on-year basis, the Taiwan exports increased 25.7 percent to NT$56.7 billion (US$1.82 billion) in January, up 3.1 percent to NT$42.2 billion (US$1.36 billion) in February, but slipped 1.3 percent to NT$54.9 billion (US$1.77 billion) in March, and lost 4.6 percent to NT$51.1 billion (US$1.64 billion) in April.

Taiwan's exports were US$6.51 billion throughout the first four months, inching up only 0.9 percent from the same period of last year, or NT$205.30 billion (US$6.62 billion) in NT-dollar, with industry executives fearing such exports will likely drop in the Jan.-May period.

Industry executives attribute the export reduction mostly to the relatively steeper devaluations of South Korean won and Japanese yen as well as the rallying NT-dollar, which depreciated favorably in April but has risen in May to render Taiwanese exports less competitive.

In the first quarter of this year, most of the island's leading machine-tool makers saw earnings drop due to losses from foreign exchange transactions. TAMI Chairman B.X. Ke suggests that the government let the NT-dollar-to-greenback value devalue to 33:1 to shore up Taiwan's export competitiveness.

Ke says the NT-dollar traded at 31.5:1 U.S. dollar on average in the first four months of this year, down 4.05 percent from the same period of 2014, and around 31.2:1 in April. But, it has recently risen to 30.7-to-1. Since 2007, the NT-dollar has depreciated 4.3 percent against the greenback, compared to the South Korean won's 15.2 percent and Japanese yen's 35 percent, he notes.

The depreciated yen has made Japanese-built high-performance machines much more cost-effective, which only further enhances their marketability. Japanese machinery is typically regarded as being higher quality relative to Taiwanese counterparts.

South Korean makers, in addition to steeper depreciation of the won, also benefit from Free Trade Agreement (FTA) the country has signed with major economies including the U.S., European Union, and mainland China.

Another threat looming is from mainland Chinese manufacturers that continually wrest shares from Taiwanese manufacturers of low-end, mid-range machine-tools. Such trend is generally inevitable as mainland Chinese operators gradually learn via cooperation with and working for Taiwanese makers, to slowly gain capacity and duplicate technologies to set up their own business. Similar processes happen in Taiwan among all kinds of businesses.

Ke says the island's machinery industry faces unprecedented difficulty and the earlier touted projection for the industry's revenue to top NT$1 trillion (US$32.25 billion) may be more hopeful thinking than realistic prospects. He urges the Taiwan government to accelerate negotiations with China to include the island's machine-tool sector in the Cross-Strait Agreement on Trade in Goods, which is based on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed bilaterally in 2010, to offset impact from South Korea's trade agreements.

The chairman says China was Taiwan's largest export destination for machinery in the first four months, with purchase of US$1.79 billion, or 27.5 percent, of Taiwan-made machines to register a 9.1 percent year-on-year increase. The U.S. imported US$1.12 billion, or 17.2 percent, of Taiwan-built machines to register a 1.0 percent increase year-on-year to be the No.2 buyer. Japan purchased US$397 million, or 6.1 percent, of Taiwan-built machines, for a 3.7 percent decrease year-on-year to be the No.3 importer.

Taiwan exported machine tools totaling US$1.06 billion in Jan.-Apr. to post a 5.9 percent decrease year-on-year, with January export of US$287 million representing a 16.1 percent surge, February export of US$208 million for a 10 percent decrease, March export of US$302 million for a 9.8 percent contraction, and April export of US$269 million for a 15.7 percent plunge year on year.

China was also Taiwan's top buyer of machine tools in the first four months, importing US$317 million, or 29.7 percent, of Taiwan-made machine tools for a 7.8 percent decrease year-on-year. The United States came in second to absorb US$123 million, or 11.6 percent, of Taiwan-built machine tools to register a 2.4 percent contraction year-on- year. Turkey was the No.3 buyer, importing US$64.58 million, or 6 percent, of Taiwan-made machine tools to register an 8 percent surge.

Taiwan's exports of machine tools all saw drops to Thailand, Germany, Russia, South Korea, England, Italy, and Brazil in the first four months, but increased in growths to Holland, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam and India.

Taiwan's Exports of Machinery and Machine Tools (Jan.-Apr. ‘15)
Machine Tool
Export revenue
YoY change (%)
Top-3 export destinations as  Taiwan's total exports
Mainland China (27.5%)
U.S. (17.2%)
Japan (6.1%)
Mainland China (29.7%)
U.S. (11.6%)
Turkey (6.0%)
TAMI originally forecasted 10% increase year-on-year each for the island's machinery and machine-tool exports for 2015.
Source: TAMI

Industry In-Focus

SINOSTEEL Corporation: Rising price in Steel</h2>

SINOSTEEL Corporation: Rising price in Steel

Jun 05, 2020

Brazil’s new crown pneumonia epidemic has rapidly increased. Brazil’s Vale, the world’s largest iron ore producer, is facing an out-of-control impact. The market is worried that iron ore production and sales will be affected. new highs. Experts from Sinosteel (2002) evaluated that steel prices will rise steadily under the effect of rising costs, with a promising outlook. According to a legal p...

Apple Invests Millions in LED Plant in Taiwan</h2>

Apple Invests Millions in LED Plant in Taiwan

Jun 01, 2020

Apple is considering to invest over US$330 million in a factory in northern Taiwan to manufacture both LED and micro-LED displays for its iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and other new devices. Apple is teaming up on the new factory with Epistar, Taiwan's top LED producer, and Taiwanese LCD panel maker, AU Optronics. The plant will be located in the Longtan branch of the Hsinchu Science Park and Appl...

Taiwan Machinery Was Applauded in COVID-19</h2>

Taiwan Machinery Was Applauded in COVID-19

May 18, 2020

What the epidemic showed was the amazing flexibility of Taiwan's machine tool industry. Taiwan, which has allowed the semiconductor industry to specialize in the past, has finally realized that these machine tool industries with amazing strength are the "invisible champions" of Taiwan's economy. In early February, three companies -- Habor Precision, Tongtai Machine & Tool and Taiwan Takisawa -...

Industry Reports

K, the leading global plastic and rubber trade fair (Photo courtesy of Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann)

K, The World's Leading Trade Fair for Plastic and Rubber Industry

Jul 24, 2020

2019 K Show, the leading global trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry, had been held in Düsseldorf on 16-23 October, 2019. There were 3,330 exhibitors from 63 nations proved impressively: plastics continue to be an innovative, indispensable material. But they also unanimously underscored the necessity of having operational circular economies along the complete material chain and to this...

Photo courtesy of CENS

Digital Healthcare & Technology at the Heart of Las Vegas CES 2020

Jul 14, 2020

■ Hubert Chih The number of healthcare exhibitors at the 2020 CES in Las Vegas increased significantly by 23% from 2019. According to the analysis and report by the CES organizer, digital healthcare and technology were the focus in the healthcare exhibition. In addition to the continued expansion of healthcare coverage, the reduction of healthcare costs, the improvement of effectiveness and th...

The Taiwan Hardware Show sees global buyer attendance. (Photo provided by Kaigo Co.)

Taiwan's Hand Tools Seeking Opportunities Amid Global Crisis

Jul 10, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, most of the international hardware shows slated for this year has been moved to 2021. However, as Taiwan’s efforts combating the new virus has proven to be successful, the 2020 Taiwan Hardware Show (THS) will continue as scheduled, beginning on Oct. 13 and ending on the 15th at the Taichung International Exhibition Center, thus becoming the only sh...

Supplier News

With professional technics and rigorous quality control, Kung Hsing gains high-reputation in the industry</h2>

With professional technics and rigorous quality control, Kung Hsing gains high-reputation in the industry

Jul 23, 2020

Kung Hsing Plastic Machinery Co., LTD., founded in 1972, is the brainchild of the company President Tsai Chin-lien’s over 48 years of experience in designing and producing extrusion machines. The firm stood by its belief to uphold integrity and offer the best quality and services, eventually becoming a leader in the extrusion machinery industry in Taiwan. Kung Hsing currently has two factories; t...




Jul 21, 2020

■ Tseng Lung-nan Intype Enterprise has built up 55 years of experience in producing extruders, though the firm is placing greater consideration on rapidly degrading of the global environment. In the past 20 years, Intype has become an active contributor to building up a global ecosystem, enabling them to reuse the products manufactured by their own extruders and avoid further waste. The firm t...


YFCM Carbon Fiber Driveshaft Lauded in the field of Modified Cars for its Flexibility </h2>

YFCM Carbon Fiber Driveshaft Lauded in the field of Modified Cars for its Flexibility

Jul 14, 2020

■Hsiao Yung-le Yifeng Technology Co., Ltd. specializes in the research and development of carbon fiber transmission shafts and the manufacture of carbon fiber related products.The carbon fiber material has the characteristics of lightweight, impact resistance, fatigue resistance, and corrosion, and chemical stability is quite high. The product type is increasing in the extensive range with an ...


Insiders' Views

Caption: Pictured from front row, third right, Changhua County Government Economic Affairs Department Director Liu Yu-ping, County Magistrate Wang Huei-mei, Secretary Chen Bo-tsun pose in front of the exhibition booth. (Photo provided by CHCIA)

Changhua County Government Shores up Biz-Matching to Global Buyers

Nov 18, 2019

■Yang Feng-Chun In a bid to assist manufacturers in Changhua County to expand their market reach overseas against severe competition in the globalized market, Changhua County Government has been an active player in pushing for a makeover and innovation of its local small and medium-sized enterprises. This is done in hopes of establishing stronger connection with international markets. An ex...

Paul Master offers high-quality chassis and engines parts for passenger cars, trucks, and industrial trucks. (Photo courtesy of Paul Master)

Paul Master Builds Reputation with Auto Chassis and Engine Parts

Nov 18, 2019

Founded in 1980, Paul Master Auto Parts Co. is headquartered in Taiwan, a professional manufacturer of chassis and engines parts for passenger cars, trucks, and industrial trucks including forklifts. General Manager Terry Liang said the company has its own professional design department, which provides customized products and specifications for global buyers, including automobile steering and...


Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.</h2><p class='subtitle'>Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd. </p>

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.

Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd.

Sep 04, 2019

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd is one of the major manufacturers of automobile friction materials in Taiwan and globally. Chairman Austin Cheng has implemented the double-arrow strategy this year - own brand of “YangPo” is adopted to focus on global channels while the “NHC brand focuses on improving market shares in global markets, such as Europe, America, Asia, Australia, and the Middle E...

Exhibition Highlights

Koelnmesse (Beijing) Co., Ltd.

Announcement on Postponement of China International Hardware Show 2020 (CIHS 2020)

Jul 10, 2020

In view of the continuous spreading of COVID-19 all over the world and the latest epidemic prevention requirements of China and the government of Shanghai, in order to guarantee the health and safety of exhibitors, purchasers and professional visitors, China National Hardware Association and Koelnmesse have prudently decided to postpone China International Hardware Show 2020 (CIHS 2020) from Augu...

Automechanika Shanghai 2020 creates channels for cross-sector collaboration</h2>

Automechanika Shanghai 2020 creates channels for cross-sector collaboration

Jun 16, 2020

This year, Automechanika Shanghai continues to serve the entire automotive value chain by offering opportunities for information exchange, marketing, trade and education. Both vertically and horizontally, from OE, vehicle production to the aftermarket, it incorporates all elements of manufacturing, supply networks, services, new business models and information technology. Companies across the...

Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd

CAPAS defers to 2021

Apr 20, 2020

Following the Chinese Government’s initiatives to prevent and control the COVID-19 outbreak, the organisers of the Chengdu International Trade Fair for Automotive Parts and Aftermarket Services (CAPAS) have announced the defer of the show’s 2020 edition. The fair, originally scheduled from 21 to 23 May 2020, will now be held from 20 to 22 May 2021. In China, the State Council issued an announc...