Pandemic cuts Taiwan’s machinery exports to PHL by 20% in 2020
EVEN though Taiwan is among the countries least affected by the ensuing Covid-19 pandemic, the shutdown of some economies abroad due to the effects of the health crisis has taken its toll on its export results, such as in the Philippines where the total value of plastic and rubber machinery shipped domestically declined by 20%, from $ 17 million in 2019 to $ 12 million in 2020.
“Before the [outbreak] of [the] pandemic, the average total value of plastic and rubber machinery exported from Taiwan to the Philippines was $ 20 million and [it accounted for] 2% of the total value of Taiwan’s plastic and rubber machinery exports, ”said Bush Hsieh, vice chairman of the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Committee of the Taiwan Machinery Industry Association (TAMI ), in a social media interview. “[Last year,] that’s about 1.7 percent. “
The Southeast Asian market, he said, is an important market for Taiwan’s plastic and rubber machinery industry.
In the Philippines alone, this industry is able to meet diversified requirements, including blown film extrusion machine for shopping bags, garbage and industrial bags, as well as agricultural film and film application. food packaging.
This equipment is also used in bottled water production lines and recycling activities, among others.
The injection molding machine, on the other hand, is suitable for various industries, such as IT, communication and consumer electronics, food packaging and even household.
Manufacturing of these products, however, was disrupted when economic activities were restricted by state government-imposed lockdowns in Metro Manila and neighboring areas from mid-March last year for curb the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
As a result, the export value of machinery from Taiwan to the Philippines, such as injection molding machine, decreased by more than 40% from $ 6.9 million to $ 4.0 million over of the two periods examined.
“This shows that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected trade relations between the two countries,” said Hank Wu, sales manager of Fu Chun Shin Machinery Manufacture Co., Ltd.
ChumPower Machinery Corp. sales support engineer Tony Wu recalled some cases that industry players like them had experienced when dealing with their customers here during the height of the health crisis.
“Not only can customers not visit Taiwan, [but] local banks in [the] Philippines [were] also [shuttered] which causes payment problems, which also disrupts delivery, ”he explained.
However, with the ingenuity of some, “most companies find yet another way to continue the business relationship,” said David Lo, Director of Manufacturing of Polystar Machinery Co. Ltd.
He noted that customers and suppliers are using online conferencing and social media to establish closer contact and cooperation.
“Taiwanese machine makers continue to express the core value and benefits to the global market through sustained innovation and advanced technology development,” Lo said.
The ripple effects of the pandemic may still be ongoing as they impact the global supply chain, but the Taiwanese machinery industry is optimistic that global trade will rebound soon given the deployment of Covid-19 vaccines in most countries.
Proof that the tide is now changing for the better, Wu cited that statistics on the value of the Taiwan-made injection molding machine delivered to the Philippines have so far increased by 37%, from $ 592,700 in January to February. 2020, up from $ 814,200 in the first two. month of this year.
“We can see that the value of plastic and rubber machinery that Taiwan will export to the Philippines this year will be significantly increased,” he said.
Seeing that it will be another two to three years before global trade can recover from the damage of the pandemic, Hsieh stressed the need to create new technologies and products for the plastic machinery industry.
“Today, the industry is starting to connect with the high tech, medical and semiconductor industry. We believe that Taiwan’s plastic machinery industry will improve more and more in the future, ”he said.