Taiwan’s Hand Tools Keep Moving Higher July 4, 2008Posted by champion in : Tools , trackback
For decade years, Taiwan used to be known to the world as the “Kingdom of Hand Tools”. Wresting with mounting material price and less favorable cost, Taiwan has been seeing its global market share steadily erode. In 2003, her gave up the throne to China. As competition in the hand tool market has become truly international, Taiwan manages to battle back with renewed vigor. Although with little hope to reverse the trend and to regain the dominance, Taiwan is gaining ground in high-end low alloy steel tool products, special-purpose hand tools for medical equipment. In the help of digital data analysis on the torque against users, the local participants successfully incorporate new technology in developing more user-friendly hand tool products such as impact wrenches and the like. In 2007, there are four high value-added products launched, including thin-wall sockets, high-torque sockets, high-strength shears & pliers. The above-mentioned products target to increase extra 3~5% added value. Generally speaking, the average added value rate created by Taiwan firms reaches over 35%, superior to 30% of general international level. Taiwan’s participants make efforts not only on the R&D of new tech, new items, higher added values but also on methods for RoHS Enforcement Guidance Document, hoping to conform to the ecological standards and regulations in Europe and other regions.
The industrial upgrades on tech are proven as seeing the increasing unit prices of exports, on the basis of US$5.6 per kilogram, much higher than those made in China at US$ 2.3 per kilogram. The price still tends to move higher year after year. So far, the local participants consume 200,000 tons steel annually to turn out US$ 1.63 billion worth of sales, second to US$ 2.31 billion of China. Island’s hand tool products are highly export-oriented while 92.4% of output for oversea markets, mainly to U.S., accounting for 36% of the total output, and for mechanic maintenance use.
China plays collaborating part as well as challenging one for Taiwan. In 2005, China imported US$64.5 million worth of hand tools, or 28.7% of overall imports from Taiwan, followed by Japan, US$38.6 million or 17.1% and Germany, US$37.6 million or 16.7%. The stronger-than-expected domestic demands are contributed to booming housing sector and increasing homeowners, who now have more pastimes to do house decoration and remolding. Currently, the Industry has fundamentally full-built as a complete production system from upstream to downstream, mainly located in Zhejiang, Sichuan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Shanghai, Guangdong, and Tianjin. By statistics, Taiwan has over 5,000 tool manufacturers have set up the factories in China. Some of them are flexible to make use of the respective edges across the strait to maximize their capability, efficiency, customer service and the ability to win more orders from overseas markets.
In 2005, China exported US$2.3 billion worth of hand tools, soaring 26.1% as compared to the level of 2004. Major export items include hand tool sets, pliers, nippers, screw drivers, household tools, hammers, sledge hammers and circular saw blades, etc. 30.6% hand tools made in China were shipped to U.S. China and Taiwan grab more than 60% of U.S. hand tool import market. The market share is still inching up year after year. As DIY market is really on fire, there will be a bright outlook ahead.
Article from ttnet.net