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Taiwan’s industrial production surges to 34-month high amid semiconductor boom

The industrial production index last month increased 16.06 percent year-on-year, rising for a third consecutive month as local manufacturing continued to boom, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

Industrial production measures the change in the value of output produced by the local manufacturing, mining and utilities sectors.

Last month’s growth, the largest annual expansion in 34 months, came as increases in manufacturing output, water supply, and electricity and gas production more than offset a retreat in mining output, the ministry said in a report.

Manufacturing output, which accounted for 95.39 percent of the industrial production index, also rose for a third consecutive month, rising 16.7 percent annually last month and beating the ministry’s growth estimate of 6.7 to 11.4 percent for the month, the report said.

Among the six major industries in the manufacturing sector, four posted an annual output expansion last month, with the computer and optical products industry reporting the largest increase of 31.84 percent, it said.

That was because the industry continued to benefit from healthy shipments of servers, lenses for mobile devices, computer equipment and components, automated test equipment, and semiconductor test equipment and components, amid rising demand for artificial intelligence applications, cloud data services, handset camera lenses and semiconductor production-related devices, the ministry said.

Output from the electronic components industry, mainly comprising of semiconductors and flat panels, rose by 29.31 percent year-on-year last month, the report said.

The ministry attributed the industry’s strong showing to growing demand for high-performance computing and artificial intelligence applications, which boosted foundry companies’ 12-inch wafer production and raised demand for DRAM production, IC and wafer testing and IC designing.

As for traditional industries, output for base metals grew 7.24 percent and chemical materials and fertilizers increased 4.87 percent, due to firms’ steady replenishment of inventory, improved market fundamentals for raw materials and a lower comparison base from the previous year, the report said.

However, output of machinery equipment fell 0.26 percent as the global economic recovery was still slow and firms remained conservative about capital spending, it said.

Automobile and auto parts output dropped 9.09 percent due to a decline in sales of small fuel-powered vehicles and reduced production of some auto parts, it said.

In the first five months of the year, industrial production expanded 9.72 percent and manufacturing output grew 9.99 percent from the same period last year, the report said.

The ministry expects the growth momentum of local manufacturers to remain solid this month, with manufacturing output expected to grow between 12.5 and 17.3 percent from a year earlier. Taipei Times

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