Industry News | Taiwan's "chip supply cut-off" to Russia, Russia bans key gas exports to Taiwan, China makes its attitude clear

Jun 10 , 0202

Recently, the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade announced that the Russian side will target "unfriendly countries and regions", in neon, krypton and other inert gases on the export restrictions, unless the country's special permission, Russian exporters are not allowed to export inert gases to these countries and regions.


In the field of inert gases, Russia occupies 30% of the global market, and neon gas and other gases is a necessary raw material for semiconductor production, industry insiders believe that Russia's move will exacerbate the global shortage of chip supply, especially for Samsung, TSMC and other semiconductor companies, the impact is particularly huge.

Russia's restrictions on inert gas exports are a countermeasure to the sanctions imposed on Russia by the West. After the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the US Department of Commerce imposed sanctions on Russia in the fields of semiconductors, computers and telecommunications, with the European Union, Japan and Taiwan, China following in succession, following which Putin signed an order listing 48 countries and regions, including the US, the EU, the UK, Japan and Taiwan, China, on the " unfriendly list". The restriction of exports of key raw materials to "unfriendly countries and regions" at this time is a strategic move to counter Western sanctions by using Russia's resources to its advantage.


Russia's move has the implication of hammering Taiwan. According to the Taiwanese media on June 7, on June 1, local time, the Taiwanese authorities issued a list of products banned from export to Russia and Belarus. The list covers electronics, computers, sensors, etc. It basically includes all modern technologies, especially in the field of chips, and prohibits the export of all kinds of chips and chip-sanctioned equipment to Russia and Belarus. The very next day that the Taiwanese authorities issued the ban, Russia announced restrictions on the export of inert gases, a move that also sparked speculation.


Looking back at the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Taiwan, as a third party with no interests at all, has been speculating on the situation in Ukraine, and has joined the United States in imposing so-called "economic sanctions" on Russia and "cutting off the supply of chips", leading to a constant heating up of the situation. When Russia put Taiwan on its "unfriendly list", the Chinese mainland already made its position clear, Zhao Lijian said: "Everyone on earth understands why Taiwan was included in this list.


The attitude of Taiwanese companies towards the Russian initiative is very "tough talk", Taiwan's UMC believes that the current stock will be available until next year, and TSMC believes that there is no need to worry about the gas shortage problem. However, according to data released by the International Semiconductor Industry Association, January-March semiconductor sales in Taiwan, China, were lower than the same period last year, with a relative reduction of 15% growth, sales will be 4.88 billion U.S. dollars.


Russia's restrictions on the export of inert gases have created an opportunity for the mainland, and Russian industry experts have analysed that, as another major global producer of inert gases, there will be more countries and regions seeking to buy from the mainland, but at prices that will be 20% to 25% higher. It is understood that South Korean semiconductor companies Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix have already increased the amount of inert gases imported from the mainland, and the import price has increased by 4.5 times in comparison.

From the current point of view, inert gases from Taiwan will last for some time, but under the restrictive measures in Russia, once stocks are exhausted, support from mainland China will have to be sought.

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