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Taiwan’s chips exports to US rose for 26th consecutive month in May

Taiwan’s exports of chips to the US rose for a 26th consecutive month in May, defying a downturn in the global semiconductor market.

US purchases of Taiwanese semiconductors increased 9% from a year earlier that month, while shipments to China and Hong Kong dropped 14.3%, according to figures from the Ministry of Finance in Taipei. That’s despite an 8% slide in overall exports of chips from Taiwan, widening from the previous month’s drop of 7.1%.

The island shipped $91 million worth of chipmaking machines to China and Hong Kong in May, down 44.2% from a year earlier. In contrast, exports of gear to the US surged 59.3%.

The divergence may reflect a rapid expansion of US chipmaking capacity as Washington doles out incentives to try and bring advanced manufacturing back home. At the same time, US sanctions on advanced semiconductors and gear as well as persistently weak smartphone and PC demand have depressed Chinese imports.

Despite the drop however, China remains the biggest buyer of chips from Taiwan. Its share of the island’s exports climbed 2 percentage points to nearly 54% in May.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. executives last week signaled that semiconductor demand is likely to improve in the second half of the year, but remains cautious on consumer spending and an uneven post-Covid Chinese economic recovery. Bloomberg

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