The world’s largest chip maker, TSMC, has seen chip sales plummet in the past month. Therefore, Apple’s main chip supplier failed to meet analyst expectations for the second quarter in a row. Experts see the figures as a sign of continued weakness in global demand for electronics.
The Taiwanese group saw revenues fall by more than 15 percent last month compared to March last year. This was a decrease of almost 11 percent compared to February this year. Viewed over the entire first quarter, sales still increased by just under 4 percent to $ 16.7 billion, but analysts had expected better numbers.
The chip industry faces uncertainty over demand for electronics as the economic outlook deteriorates and many consumers struggle with increased costs. In addition, the trade war between the United States and China is affecting the sector. Last year, the US introduced further restrictions on the export of technologically advanced semiconductors to the Asian country. Meanwhile, TSMC is expanding beyond its home country of Taiwan to accommodate customers who want to source chips more widely worldwide.
It is not yet known what the new figures exactly mean for profit. TSMC, a significant customer of the Dutch chip machine maker ASML, will not reveal this until later. However, despite the disappointing sales, a record profit was recorded in the previous quarter. This was due to the company’s economies of scale and technological advantage over many competitors.
TSMC has already scaled back its investment plans for this year to between $32 billion and $36 billion. Last year it was more than 36 billion. TSMC executives said in January they expect the company’s sales to decline in the first half of this year likely, but business should pick up after that.