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IC output hits record high in first 5 months

The output of Taiwan's semiconductor industry hit a record high in the first five months of this year due to a global economic recovery and strong demand for mobile devices, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (經濟部) said Tuesday.

In the January-May period, the sector's production value reached NT$600.3 billion (US$20 billion), up 14.2 percent from last year and the highest amount ever recorded for that period, the ministry said.

Some 65 percent of the output was from integrated circuit makers, which saw their production rise 14.7 percent year-on-year to NT$391.6 billion in the first five months of the year.

Seventy-four percent of Taiwan-made semiconductor products are directly exported.

In the first half of the year, semiconductor exports increased 11.9 percent annually to US$33.5 billion, with exports to China (including Hong Kong) and Singapore — the two largest overseas markets — rising 18.3 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively.

Exports to Malaysia and the Philippines gained 39.4 percent and 26.4 percent, respectively, while those to South Korea and Japan dropped 7 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively.

The output value of the nation's manufacturing sector is forecast to grow 3.19 percent to NT$17.75 trillion (US$592.26 billion) this year from last year, thanks to a moderate recovery in the global economy, the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI,財團法人工業技術研究院) said last week.

The forecast — higher than the 3.1-percent increase to NT$17.73 trillion the institute predicted in April — is mainly led by 17.1-percent annual growth in the output value of the semiconductor sector, according to ITRI.

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