Taiwan sees decline in hardware production

The total value of IT hardware produced in Taiwan declined by 13 percent during the first half of 2001 compared to the year-ago period, weighed down by a global slowdown in demand for IT products that shows little sign of picking up, according to Taipei-based research group Market Intelligence Center (MIC). The decline reflects how hard Taiwan's economy, which is heavily dependant on high-tech exports, has been hit by slowing growth in IT equipment sales.

The total value of Taiwan's IT hardware production during the first half of 2001 was US$17.1 billion, MIC said in a statement. Notebook PCs, CRT (cathode ray tube) displays, motherboards and desktop PCs all showed a decline in production value compared to the year-ago period, it said. However, MIC noted that the production value of LCDs (liquid crystal displays) had increased compared to the same period last year.

Overall, the value of IT hardware produced in Taiwan during 2001 is expected to decline 8.4 percent, to $37.7 billion, it said.

Notebook PC production value declined 16.9 percent, to $5.8 billion, compared to the year ago period, MIC said. Looking towards the second half of the year, MIC sees hope for a slight improvement in notebook PC sales. That should lead total notebook PC production value to reach $12.1 billion, a decrease of 11 percent compared with the previous year, it said.

The production value of desktop PCs fell 14.1 percent, to US$3 billion, compared to the same period last year. The decline was attributed by MIC to lower global demand for PCs and a steady drop in the average selling price of desktop PCs. Low-price PCs are expected to boost the volume of PCs produced in Taiwan during 2001, but total production value is expected to dip 9.2 percent to $7.1 billion.

LCDs are one of the few bright spots in Taiwan's IT manufacturing industry. The production value of LCDs rose 36.1 percent, to $1.1 billion, during the first half of 2001, MIC said. For the year, LCD production is expected to rise 66.6 percent to $3.1 billion, it said.

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