Friday, March 10, 2023

Rumors of export bans on photoresist to China are circulating

Via Bloomberg News: 

Shares in Chinese suppliers of materials for semiconductors surged after unsubstantiated reports of impending Japanese export curbs circulated on social media, underscoring the nervousness surrounding US efforts to isolate Beijing’s chip industry.

Shenzhen RongDa Photosensitive Science & Technology Co., provider of compounds known as photoresists that are essential in chipmaking, soared 20%. That leap follows a similar gain Wednesday after several posts on WeChat, which Bloomberg News has not verified independently, that an unnamed Japanese company had cut off supplies of the compound. 

Japanese companies such as Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., JSR Corp. and Tokyo Ohka Kogyo Co. are the world’s biggest producers of photoresists. The report comes as US allies including the Netherlands agreed to join the US in restricting the export of advanced chipmaking gear to China, part of Washington’s broader plan to contain a semiconductor sector it’s accused of aiding the military.

The Netherlands, home to chip gear industry linchpin ASML Holding NV, is preparing to rein in exports of so-called immersion DUV lithography products, adding to restrictions that already exist for the most cutting-edge machines. Japan is expected to flesh out its own curbs too.

It will be fascinating to see if these chipmaking curbs begin altering the supply chains for the chemicals as well...

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