Manufacturing sector sales up for 6th straight quarter in Q1

Taipei, June 11 (CAN) Revenue generated by Taiwan's manufacturing sector posted a year-on-year increase in the first quarter of this year, for the sixth quarter in a row, at a time of continued economic recovery at home and abroad, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Monday.Data compiled by the MOEA showed the local manufacturing sector generated NT$6.28 trillion (US$211 billion) in the January-March period, up 0.7 percent from a year earlier.However, the sales growth moderated from a 5.8 percent year-on-year increase in the fourth quarter of last year as the local computer/optoelectronics sector suffered a decline in sales in the January-March period, when global demand for handheld devices weakened, the MOEA said.In the first quarter of this year, sales posted by the computer/optoelectronics sector totaled NT$1.9 trillion, down 6.3 percent from a year earlier. However, sales generated by the sector still accounted for more than 30 percent of total revenue posted by Taiwan's manufacturing sector, the data showed.The electronic components sector posted NT$1.27 trillion in sales in the first quarter, up 0.9 percent from a year earlier, on the back of a wider range of emerging applications such as the Internet of Things and mining devices used in cryptocurrency transactions, the MOEA said.The MOEA said old economy industries performed better than their tech counterparts in terms of sales growth due to rising product prices.The chemical raw material industry benefited from higher international crude oil prices, registering an 11.4 percent year-on-year increase in sales valued at NT$554 billion, while sales generated by oil/coal suppliers also rose 4.3 percent from a year earlier to NT$419.1 billion, the MOEA said.With demand for production automation on the rise in the global market, Taiwanese machinery makers posted NT$254.7 billion in sales, up 8.3 percent from a year earlier, while revenue generated by base metals firms also rose 7.8 percent from a year earlier to NT$337.6 billion, the MOEA said.The MOEA said with momentum in the electronics sector set to pick up in the second quarter as international clients look to build up inventories in preparation for the upcoming peak season in the second half of the year, Taiwanese manufacturers are expected to post another year-on-year increase in sales in the April-June period, adding that second quarter growth is forecast to top first quarter growth of 0.7 percent.