Foundries keep selling strongly in May

June 10, 2020 //By Peter Clarke
Foundries keep selling strongly in May
May sales at foundries TSMC and UMC were only slightly down on April's and significantly ahead of May 2019, indicating that any slowdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic has yet to take hold.

The foundries, which post monthly sales, are one of the better indicators of the semiconductor market. It appears that any pandemic-driven slowdown has – so far – been offset by a combination of stockpiling, alternative strong markets and by favourably comparison with year-ago weakness.

TSMC's sales for the first five months of the year are 34 percent ahead of where they were over the same period in 2019, which seems remarkable for a year which almost exactly coincides with a global pandemic crisis. The situation is made harder to read by the fact that 2Q19 was the start of a recovery from a weak first quarter in foundry sales in 2019.

In May 2020 TSMC's sales were approximately NT$93.82 billion (about $3.16 billion), a decrease of 2.3 percent from April 2020 and an increase of 16.6 percent from May 2019. For the first five months of 2020 TSMC's sales revenue was NT$500.42 billion (about US$16.85 billion), an increase of 33.9 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

Over the months the year-on-year growth is diminishing. It appears that strong 1H20 demand has more than compensated for any disruption due to the lockdowns imposed in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic. However, in the 2H20, even as lockdowns are lifted it may be a story of weaker demand.

At smaller foundry United Microelectronics Corp., May sales were NT$14.75 billion (about US$496 million). This was down sequentially roughly the same as TSMC's May sales at 2.1 percent and up 20.45 percent compared with May 2019.

UMC's revenue for the first five months stands at NT$72,073 billion (about US$2.43 billion) up 26.6 percent compared with the same period in 2019.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

Did Covid-19 flatten foundries' growth curves in April?

No signs of Covid-19 in massive March sales at Taiwan's foundries

Despite Covid-19, foundries' business boomed in February

Did chip production leadership boost TSMC's January sales?

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