Taiwan LED sales soar on strong Olympics demand

Sales in the first half of 2008 jumped by 16.1% to $771.3 million, according to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council.

Sales by Taiwan’s LED makers soared during the first half of this year, according to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA). Growth was helped by the Beijing Olympics and higher energy prices that are encouraging the use of more energy-efficient lighting.

Taiwan’s LED makers reported that their sales rose 16.1 percent in the first half of this year from the same period a year earlier.

The companies’ first-half 2008 sales rose to NT$24.2 billion (US$771.3 million) from NT$20.8 billion in the same period a year earlier, according to information the companies provided to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

TAITRA said that LEDs are increasingly used as backlights for notebook computers, in street lights and for factory lighting. Taiwan has the world’s second largest LED industry with a 20 percent share of the global market. Japan currently has a 37 percent share. However, by 2010, Taiwan's share is forecast to grow to 30 percent as many of Taiwan’s flat-panel display makers prepare to enter the LED business.

Taiwan’s government is also taking steps to boost the domestic industry while also improving energy efficiency. The government plans to replace all the island’s incandescent-type traffic lights with LED lamps in three years.

TAITRA was founded in 1970 to promote Taiwan’s foreign trade and competitiveness in world markets. TAITRA is jointly sponsored by the government and commercial associations, and is viewed as the business gateway to Taiwan for the international business community.

Some of Taiwan’s LED makers, who are also presumably members of TAITRA, are Arima Optoelectronics Corp., Bright LED Electronics Corp., Epistar Corp., Everlight Electronic Co., Formosa Epitaxy, Genesis Photonics Inc., Harvatek, I-Chiun Precision, Ligitek, Opto Tech and Unity Opto Technology Co.

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