Taiwan’s surface-finishing industry ended 2011 with output of NT$163.5 billion (about US$5 billion) for a 13 percent increase from a year ago, according to a report by the Metal Industries Research and Development Center, a metal market researcher in Taiwan.
The report shows that the industry exported NT$78.5 billion and imported NT$15 billion of coated steel plates in 2011, up 5 percent and down 16 percent, respectively, compared to a year earlier, with the market in Taiwan expanding 14 percent to NT$100 billion.
In the fourth quarter, the industry’s output value came to NT$41.1 billion, up 12 percent from a year ago but down 3.6 percent from a quarter earlier, with exports and imports totaling NT$20 billion and NT$3 billion, respectively, up 5 percent and down 7 percent QoQ. The MIRDC analysts stressed that the industry in the fourth quarter produced less than the third quarter for a variety of reasons, including the lingering EU debt crisis and cutthroat underselling among Japanese and Korean steelmakers, which shook the steel market to dampen demand for surface finishing services.
Japan and China were the top two suppliers for the industry in Taiwan, commanding nearly an 80 percent share of the segment in the quarter; while China, the U.S., Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia absorbed 50 percent of the industry’s exports as the top-five buyers.
Many industry operators scrambled for orders amid lukewarm demand in the latter part of the year, having already reduced export quotations to attract customers, while stepping up production streamlining since December to sustain operating performance.