Wholesale sector reports 12th straight month of revenue growth

Taipei, Taiwan’s local wholesale sector reported a year-on-year revenue growth for the 12th consecutive month in January as buyers rushed to build-up inventory to meet strong demand, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

A relatively low comparison base over the same period last year also contributed to growth in the wholesale market in January, the MOEA added.

Data compiled by the MOEA showed the local wholesale industry posted NT$882.9 billion (US$30.13 billion) in revenue for January, up 10 percent from a year earlier, marking the 12th straight month of year-on-year sales growth, after an increase of 3.5 percent in December.

The January growth was the highest since February 2017, when the local wholesale industry reported a 14.3 percent year-on-year growth in revenue, the data indicated.

Among the products generating the most growth, machinery sales in the wholesale industry grew 16.3 percent from a year earlier to NT$350.7 billion in January due to solid demand for certain electronics components such as semiconductors and memory chips, the MOEA said.

Machinery sales growth served as a driver behind the upturn in revenue increase for the entire wholesale sector, Wang Shu-chuan (???), deputy head of the MOEA’s statistics department, said.

In the same month, sales generated by building material wholesale suppliers also rose 14.7 percent from a year earlier to NT$69.6 billion, reflecting rising steel product prices in the global market.

Meanwhile, sales posted by chemical wholesale vendors grew 21.3 percent from a year earlier to NT$38.6 billion.

However, the local retail sector bucked the uptrend, reporting an over 4 percent year-on-year decline in sales for January, stopping a five-month rising streak, as many consumers postponed their purchases till February for the six-day Lunar New Year holiday that month, the MOEA said.

In January, sales generated by the local retail sales totaled NT$362.3 billion, down 4.4 percent from a year earlier, the MOEA data showed.

In particular, sales in department stores fell sharply by 19.4 percent from a year earlier to NT$24.3 billion while revenue posted by hypermarket operators shed 21.2 percent to NT$18.2 billion, the MOEA said.

Super market chains and convenience store chains reported a year-on-year milder decline of 4.2 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively, to NT$17.5 billion and NT$27.5 billion in sales in January, the MOEA added.

Due to the Lunar New Year effects in February, the local food/beverage sector also reported a fall in revenue in January, when sales dropped 12.1 percent from a year earlier to NT$37.9 billion, breaking a 10-month rising streak, according to the MOEA.

Sales posted by restaurant operators fell 14.1 percent from a year earlier to NT$31.9 billion in January, while revenue generated by beverage vendors dropped 0.9 percent to NT$4.3 billion.

After a slow January, Wang said, retail and food/beverage businesses are expected to report a 10 percent and 17 percent year-on-year increase in sales in February due to a buying spree during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Despite the drop in revenue in January, after adjusting for seasonal effects, the retail and food/beverage sectors in Taiwan are expected to report an increase in sales from a year earlier for the first two months of this year, indicating private consumption has been growing at a stable pace, Wang said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel