U.S. Commerce Dept says chips shortage to persist, will review some pricing


The seal of the Department of Commerce is pictured in Washington, D.C., U.S. March 10, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Commerce Department said Tuesday a survey of semiconductor chips producers and users shows a shortage will persist, sparked primarily by wafer production capacity.

The department said it will "engage industry on node-specific problem solving in the coming weeks. We will also look into claims about unusually high prices in these nodes."

"Demand for chips is high. It is getting higher," Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told reporters, adding demand is now about 20% above 2019 levels. "There is not a lot of good news" in this survey, she added.

The voluntary survey of 150 companies last fall in the supply chain confirmed "there is a significant, persistent mismatch in supply and demand for chips, and respondents did not see the problem going away in the next six months."

The department said median inventory for consumers for key chips has fallen from 40 days in 2019 to less than 5 days in 2021.

(Reporting by David Shepardson)

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