Taiwan eyes more semiconductor supply for Europe

Taiwan’s president promised to work with the European Union to boost its supply of semiconductors due to a global shortage that has mostly impacted the automotive industry.

“Taiwan will continue to cooperate with the EU to establish a more resilient supply of critical commodities such as semiconductors,” said this week President Tsai Ing-wen in a video message broadcast at a democracy conference in Copenhagen.

She also renewed her call to negotiate an investment agreement between the EU and Taiwan.

In April, the country’s leading semiconductor manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) said the automotive industry can expect semiconductor shortages to begin easing in the second quarter.

However, overall deficits of critical chips will last throughout this year and potentially into 2022, it added.

The fire in March at semiconductor manufacturer Renesas in Japan exacerbated existing supply chain disruptions (see Kallanish passim). This is likely to hamper the automotive sector recovery and impact steel demand, said Fitch Ratings. 

This disruption has affected a number of global carmakers in Asia, US and Europe, given Renesas is the second-largest producer globally of car microcontroller unit chips. The shortage is also disrupting automotive production in Russia.

Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade expects semiconductor shortages affecting various automotive manufacturers in the country will be resolved by the end of this summer.

In 2021, lost profits for the global automotive industry due to semiconductor shortages could amount to more than $60 billion, according to Bloomberg.

This problem will further hurt the global automotive industry, and global car production in the first half of the year may decrease by 2 million units, says Oxford Economics.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria