2021/1/24  
NT dollar going strong, but imports as pricey as ever (2021/01/13)
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  • 英文 English 
    NT dollar going strong, but imports as pricey as ever (2021/01/13)

    A strong currency usually makes exports less competitive while reducing the cost of imports. But forex watchers may be frustrated to find that the rising Taiwan dollar isn't having much impact on import prices. Import merchants say the high cost of shipping since the outbreak of COVID is making it hard to pass currency gains onto consumers.

    A "daigou" import reseller sorts through a fresh order of Japanese and Korean snacks, as well as accessories from the U.S.A.

    A mountain of handbags: Ms. Liu opens each one to inspect it. She's been reselling imported goods for many years, but with the pandemic spurring a boom in online shopping, she's busier than ever. With the Taiwan dollar rising against the greenback, however, customers are trying to haggle down prices.

    Ms. Liu
    'Daigou' reseller
    The shipping costs have really risen a lot recently, almost doubled. We can't push the prices down too low, because, you know, the shipping is expensive.

    Demand for shipping has soared in the pandemic, with space in shipping containers continuing to get pricier. Before COVID, shipping from the U.S. to Taiwan was about NT$200 per pound. Now it's NT$400. For an import reseller, once-monthly shipping costs of NT$100,000 might now be almost twice that, wiping out any gains made from the strong NT dollar.

    Darson Chiu
    Taiwan Institute of Economic Research
    These manufacturers are wanting to clear out their warehouses. Inventory is bought in at quite high prices, and shipping costs are rising. Comparing the costs, it's not gotten cheaper.

    The NT dollar IS strong, however, and in 2021 continues to approach US$27. But while we're unable to go abroad or get discounts on imported stuff, it's hard to take advantage of the moment.
    中文 Chinese  
    貨櫃櫃位價格飆漲 成本幾近抵銷台幣升值利潤

    台幣不斷強升,但進口商品,以美元計價,卻遲遲沒有反映台幣匯率升值的好處,讓不少民眾認為,台幣升值 根本看得到吃不到,也頻頻催促進口商應該適度降價,不過進口業者說,受到全球貨櫃大缺貨,運費已漲一倍,根本沒有降價空間。

    剛到貨的日韓零食泡麵、美國服飾,代購業者忙著整理分類。

    堆成山的精品包包,也一一拆開來仔細驗貨,從事代購好幾年的劉小姐,面對疫情席捲全球,宅經濟發燒,讓代購業者大發利市,但消費者每每詢問,美元不斷走貶,台幣升值,商品是不是該反映降價。

    [[代購業者 劉小姐]]
    "運費現在是真的漲蠻多,幾乎是翻倍漲,(商品價格)不可能壓到太低,因為畢竟運費是真的蠻貴的"

    近期全球貨櫃大爆滿,櫃位價格持續飆漲,以美國疫情前運費一磅約新台幣200元,如今已經到400元,以代購業者每個月進貨運費10萬來說,成本已經增加到逼近20萬,根本抵銷台幣升值的利潤。

    [[台經院研究員 邱達生]]
    "這些廠商要先出清庫存,存貨是用比較高價格買進來,最近運價是上揚的,成本比照下來並沒有比較便宜"

    台幣上揚力道強勁,今年持續往27元邁進,只是不能出國,進口商又無法反映降價,也讓民眾真的很無感。
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