According to TrendForce research, as manufacturers actively shifted production capacity to 128 layer products, the market turned to oversupply, resulting in a drop in contract prices in 1Q22, among which the decline in consumer-grade products was more pronounced. Although enterprise SSD purchase order volume has grown, demand for smart phone bits has weakened due to the Russian-Ukrainian war, the traditional off-season, and rising inflation. Client inventories have increased significantly, so it remains challenging for overall bit shipment volume to offset potential decline. In 1Q22, NAND Flash bit shipments and average selling prices fell by 0.5% and 2.3%, respectively, resulting in a 3.0% quarterly decrease in overall industry revenue to US$17.92 billion.
According to TrendForce investigations, total DRAM revenue in 1Q22 decreased by 4.0% QoQ, reaching US$24.03 billion. The primary reason for this drop stems from market inflation, weakening demand, and the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war at the end of February affecting the performance of terminal consumption. At the same time, client-end inventory levels continue to rise, so their primary goal has become digesting inventory. Due to sluggish overall sales momentum, the prices of various DRAM products fell, resulting in overall DRAM revenue in 1Q22 succumbing to decline.
According to TrendForce research, looking at NAND Flash wafers, the pricing of which more sensitively reflects the market, suppliers are increasingly motivated to cut prices in exchange for sales due to weak retail demand since March and a more conservative outlook for shipments of other end products. The price of NAND Flash wafers is expected to begin falling in May and the supply of NAND Flash will gradually overtake demand in 2H22. The price decline of NAND Flash wafers in 3Q22 may reach 5~10%.
According to TrendForce, Taiwan is crucial to the global semiconductor supply chain, accounting for a 26% market share of semiconductor revenue in 2021, ranking second in the world. Its IC design and packaging & testing industries also account for a 27% and 20% global market share, ranking second and first in the world, respectively. Firmly in the pole position, Taiwan accounts for 64% of the foundry market. In addition to TSMC possessing the most advanced process technology at this stage, foundries including UMC, Vanguard, and PSMC also have their own process advantages. Under the looming shadow of chip shortages caused by the pandemic and geopolitical turmoil in the past two years, various governments have quickly awakened to the fact that localization of chip manufacturing is necessary to avoid being cut off from chip acquisition due to logistics difficulties or cross-border shipment bans. Taiwanese companies have ridden this wave to become partners that governments around the world are eager to invite to set up factories in various locales.
Due to the explosion of the COVID-19 pandemic in China, Shanghai has adopted a rolling lockdown policy since March and Kunshan City, a major production hub for the electronics industry near Shanghai, has also felt the impact. According to TrendForce, limited manpower and logistics and suspended transportation options mean neighboring OEMs and ODMs can only rely on onsite inventory to barely meet the needs of production lines, further exacerbating component mismatches. Concurrently, a short-term surge in finished product shipments and demand for material replenishment after the various lockdowns are lifted may gridlock customs authorities, with delivery delays potentially lasting until the end of April before there is any chance for improvement.