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Metal Miner

Metal Miner

MetalMiner is the largest metals-related media site in the US according to third party ranking sites. With a preemptive global perspective on the issues, trends,…

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Semiconductor Supply Chain Remains Secure Despite Taiwan Earthquake

  • Taiwan's semiconductor industry quickly recovered after the earthquake, with TSMC and UMC resuming operations.
  • The earthquake had little impact on Taiwan's ports, ensuring a stable supply chain.
  • The global auto sector remains unaffected by the earthquake, as semiconductor production continues uninterrupted.

Via Metal Miner

Reports indicate that the earthquake that struck Taiwan on April 2 is unlikely to create either supply or manufacturing difficulties for Taiwan semiconductors (microchips), which could subsequently impact the auto sector and steel prices.

“I haven’t heard about any impact on the industry due to the earthquake,” one steel trader told MetalMiner. The seismic incident registered 7.2 on the Richter scale. The quake occurred off Taiwan’s east coast near the city of Hualien and claimed 13 lives as well as injuring about 1,100 people.

Taiwan itself produces more than half of the world’s supply of semiconductors.  The global auto sector is also a major end-user of semiconductors, estimated at up to 15% due to the rising integration of electronic systems and features in automobiles.

MetalMiner can unlock customizable price forecasting for your unique metals, forms, and gauges. View our full metals catalog.

Operations Restarted Swiftly After Earthquake, Assures Stable Supply Chain

According to an April 3 report from Data Center Dynamics, The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), one of the largest in the world, temporarily shut down operations and evacuated its plants after the earthquake. However, the South China Morning Post stated on April 4 that TSMC restarted operations the following day. United Microelectronics Corporation also noted that the earthquake triggered automatic safety measures at its production sites in Hsinchu and Tainan in southern Taiwan.

“Currently, operations and wafer shipment are resuming as normal, and there will be no meaningful impact on UMC’s finances and business,” that company said in an April 3 press release. While the port of Hualien suspended operations in the previous week, reports quoting Taiwan’s Maritime and Port Bureau said that other ports on the island experienced little to no damage.

Other Factors Affecting Taiwan Semiconductor Demand

A slower economy and high interest rates from the European Central Bank are just some of the factors suppressing hot rolled coil prices on the continent. MetalMiner’s source said that Mills in northern Europe were offering €650-660 ($705-715) per metric ton EXW as of April 4, down from €700 ($760) in late March. It has yet to be seen how this could impact Taiwan Semiconductor or other chip manufacturing companies.

A March report from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) indicated that auto plants within the European Union produced over 12.1 million new units in 2023. This reflects an 11.3% rise year on year from 10.9 million units. The ACEA report also noted that battery electric vehicles comprised 14% of that volume, representing a 37% increase on the year.

By Christopher Rivituso


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