On the evening of September 17, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 on the Richter scale occurred in Guanshan Township, Taitung. Yesterday (9/18) afternoon, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 on the Richter scale occurred in Chishang Township, Taitung. Following up on these recent powerful earthquakes, TrendForce’s investigation into their impact on Taiwan's semiconductor and panel industries is as follows:
In terms of foundries, due to shock-absorbing plant designs, earthquake vibrations inside fabs are one level of magnitude less than outside. In terms of equipment manufacturers, currently there are no reports of substantial factory damage. In the worst case, some machinery required initialization after crashing. In terms of memory, Nanya Technology has already carried out a shutdown inspection. If there was any wafer damage, Nanya maintains sufficient inventory to compensate. Micron recalled engineers to inspect equipment and has confirmed no losses. Thus, the capacity utilization rate of these two companies has not been affected nor has supply.
In terms of panel makers, the panel industry is currently on a down cycle with serious sustained oversupply issues. Panel makers are reducing production in succession. Global average utilization rate in 3Q22 is expected to be revised to 65%. Innolux, located in Tainan, also started reducing production on a large scale in September. Thus the actual impact of the recent earthquakes should be limited in severity. According to TrendForce investigations, machinery had been slowed or shut down for maintenance during the earthquake and operations have, subsequently, been resumed. Some panel factories have even extended the maintenance period for their production lines to cope with the problem of poor overall demand.
In terms of passive component MLCC, Taiwanese factories Yageo and Walsin Technology’s factory campuses are located in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu, Daliao, and Nanzih Districts. Due to the slowdown in terminal market demand, production capacity utilization rate has been maintained at approximately 70% since July. At the same time, Taiwan factory campuses have cancelled weekend overtime and returned to a normal shift schedule with only the sintering process in continuous operation. The power supply in the Kaohsiung area was not affected by the earthquake and production line sintering furnaces remain in normal operation. In addition, finished product inventory at these two suppliers' plants has exceeded 90 days. Supply is sufficient, stable, and remains unaffected.
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