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LCDs lead Hong Kong electronic components exports

Posted: 12 Feb 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:electronic component? lcd? semiconductors? lcds? laser diodes?

Hong Kong's electronic components exports continue to register steady growth, according to data from the SAR Census and Statistics Department. Export value for LCDs rose 37.04 percent in the first three quarters of last year, to $967.608 million. In September alone, total exports amounted to $113.668 million, up 48.92 percent year-on-year.

Exports were mainly to mainland China, although Taiwan and South Korea are also chief markets. Semiconductors, LCDs, laser diodes, ICs, PCBs and capacitors are the most sought after products.

Export performance, however, was interrupted by the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Export slowed in the first half of last year, but demand recovered in the third quarter, says Clement Wan, senior marketing executive from RCL Display Ltd.

Price drops for LCDs, precipitated by stiff competition, have contributed to the strong buying. There has recently been a marked use of LCDs for home appliances and car audio systems. Production went up by 10 to 15 percent last year; it is likely to move up by as much this year, Wan says.

Eric Yu, secretary of the Hong Kong Electronics Industries Association, says the strengthening of the economy will push exports up. "This export growth is good because the economy is picking up," Yu adds.

Color LCD is predicted to become popular this year, and RCL is preparing to sample color STN LCDs.

Export values of capacitors and ICs for the nine-month period also jumped 24.56 percent and 21.12 percent, respectively, over their year-ago levels. PCBs' export growth was 21.74 percent. Export volume for PCBs also grew 33.53 percent. Export value of semiconductors amounted to $2.1 billion, up 15.1 percent from the previous year.

Juans Ho, sales and marketing manager of Lucky Top Technologies Ltd, says chip capacitors are particularly being bought up because of the trend toward smaller electronics. Market consumption of chip capacitors jumped 50 percent; demand is forecast to grow 10 percent this year. Ho expects that the company will increase by 10 to 20 percent production of its 0402 chip capacitors, released last quarter.

Electronic motors and generators, meanwhile, posted modest growth of 3.31 percent and 2.07 percent, respectively.

Anthony Tsang, marketing manager of Sun Motor Technology Group, says the company will ramp up production of miniature motors, expecting demand to rise this year. Output of dc motors generally outpaces output of ac motors, because dc motors need no specific approval for exports. Tsang expects 10 to 15 percent growth in the output of motors.

Reduction in tax refunds has also contributed to the rise in exports in the second half of last year. Refunds were to be slashed from 17 to 13 percent starting last month. That triggered selloffs. Exporters unloaded their stocks before the tax cut was to go into effect.

"Less tax refund means an added 4 percent in cost on makers. Makers export more before the end of last year. It is a critical reason for the good performance of export," says Yu, who is also a director of Chequers Electronics (China) Ltd.

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