Taiwan economy minister: Order books for chip firms still very full

FILE PHOTO: Taiwan Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua speaks during an interview with Reuters in Taipei, Taiwan, September 30, 2021. REUTERS/Ann Wang

TAIPEI (Reuters) -Order books for both mature and advanced semiconductor nodes for Taiwanese chip firms are still very full, Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua said on Wednesday, amid concerns about a slowdown in tech-related demand.

A significantly weaker-than-expected business outlook by memory-chip firm Micron Technology Inc last Thursday raised concern that, following nearly two years of strong demand, the industry was turning towards a down cycle. That helped to drive down some global tech stocks.

Speaking to reporters in Taipei, Wang said Taiwan's chip industry was a world leader.

"Their orders at the moment are still very full," she said, referring to both mature and advanced semiconductor chips.

"It looks like at the moment the business is firm for Taiwan's semiconductor industry."

Taiwan's chip firms have benefited from a global shortage of semiconductors, which has kept their factories operating at capacity and driven new expansion plans.

Earlier on Wednesday, chip maker United Microelectronics Corp, whose clients include Qualcomm Inc and Germany's Infineon, reported that June sales soared 43.2% on the year, with first-half sales leaping 38.2% year-on-year.

Taiwan's Foxconn, the world's largest contract electronics maker, raised its full-year business outlook on Monday, reflecting strong sales of smartphones and servers, despite concerns about slowing demand due to rising inflation.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker and Asia's most valuable listed company, will report its second-quarter earnings late next week.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Yimou Lee; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Edmund Klamann)

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