Taiwan steel exports fall almost 20 percent
Taiwan’s steel exports for the first half of this year fell almost 20 percent as oversupply sent product prices into a tailspin, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
The MOEA said that expanded steel production capacity in China, one of the largest steel suppliers in the world, has exacerbated the global supply glut, adding that the impact from the oversupply was more visible in the Asia-Pacific region.
The ministry said that as the world’s economy showed signs of weakening, demand for steel products has been on the decline, dragging product prices even lower, which hit exports of Taiwan’s steel exports hard over the past six months.
Statistics compiled by the MOEA show that from January to June steel exports fell 19.4 percent yearon-year to US$4.3 billion.
China, which is the largest buyers of Taiwan’s steel exports, accounting for 13.7 percent of total outbound sales, ahead of the United States with 12.8 percent and Japan with 6.7 percent, the data indicated.
During the same period, steel exports to China fell 17.7 percent from a year earlier following the imposition of additional duties on steel product imports in July 2014 by the Chinese government, the MOEA said.
Taiwanese steel exporters have also been impacted by the depreciation of the Japanese yen over the past six months, which has resulted in a 24.3 percent decline in exports to that country from a year earlier, the ministry added. Exports to the U.S. fell 0.5 percent year-onyear.
Taiwan’s steel imports for the first half of this year totaled US$4.2 billion, down 17.2 percent from a year earlier, the MOEA data showed.
The ministry said that Japan was the largest steel supplier to Taiwan, accounting for 30.7 percent of total imports, followed by China with 25.4 percent, Russia with 8.1 percent and the United States with 7.3 percent.
In the first five months of the year, production value in the local steel sector fell 9.7 percent from a year earlier to NT$464.1 billion (US$14.64 billion), the MOEA said. Of the many steel product categories, hot rolled steel plate makers suffered the steepest decline in output, which dropped 21.6 percent from a year earlier to NT$99 billion, the ministry added.
The production index for the local steel industry fell 2.1 percent year-on-year for the first five months of the year to 98.46, with the sub-index for the hot rolled plate segment down 7.7 percent from a year earlier, the MOEA data showed.