Geopolitical tensions are high, and global semiconductor gas may face supply risks

News on February 2, according to the Securities Times, the US electronic materials market research company Techcet pointed out that more than 14% of the supply of semiconductor-grade neon gas in the United States comes from Ukraine, and 90% of palladium comes from Russia, and there are related semiconductor material supply chain security issues. Since Ukraine is a major producer of special gases for semiconductor manufacturing in the world, once Russia and Ukraine go to war, some of the special gases required for semiconductor manufacturing may be in short supply.

According to the data, Ukraine supplies about 70% of the world’s neon gas, and supplies about 40% of the world’s krypton gas and 30% of the world’s xenon. In the semiconductor process, neon gas can be used for KrF and ArF laser exposure, and neon gas accounts for more than 96% of the laser gas mixture. Krypton gas is also used in the photolithography process; Xenon is used in semiconductor etching processes. According to the U.S. Trade Commission, neon gas prices rose by 2014 percent at one point during a period of tension on the Crimean peninsula in 600. At present, according to Baichuan Yingfu price tracking data, the price of neon gas (content 99.99%) in China has risen from 2021 yuan / cubic meter in October 10 to more than 400 yuan / cubic meter at present.

The Securities Times quoted the institutional view that if there are related neon, krypton and xenon supply risks in the future, the downstream fab’s search for alternative suppliers will take more than half a year to verify, and will face new short material risks. Under the background that the current global core shortage has not been alleviated, this will inevitably further aggravate the problem of core shortage. The probability of the United States and European fabs being affected is greater, and non-relevant countries and regions such as Chinese mainland, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan have the opportunity to benefit from the short-term increase in market share in the short term.