Chip imports to China fell more than 13% between January and October, according to Chinese customs, as the world’s largest semiconductor market is hit by a growing trade tension between the United States and China and an overall slowdown in the US economy.
In the first 10 months of the year, China imported 458 billion integrated circuits, down 13.2% from the 527.9 billion chips imported into the country in the same period last year. At the same time, the decline in imports accelerated noticeably in October – in the first 9 months the decline was only 12.8% on average.
The decline in sales is also due to the fact that in 2021 the import of integrated circuits has skyrocketed – in the first 10 months the growth was then 21.2% compared to the previous year, so it is now difficult to keep up with these indicators. But despite the fall in imports, higher chip prices pushed utility costs up 1.3% over the reported period, leaving $351.2 billion. In general, chips have long been one of the main import items to China. Previously, such imports overtook crude oil and consumer goods at the expense of purchases. Nevertheless, it started falling earlier this year, recording a year-on-year decline for the first time since 2020.
The fall in imports in October was 13.7% (to 41.1 billion) compared to October 2021. For comparison, 47.6 billion chips were imported in September. The accelerated decline in purchases comes amid tightening export controls in Washington and coincides with a global slowdown in demand for semiconductors in general.
On Oct. 7, the Bureau of Industry and Security, a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce, announced a series of measures to control technology exports to China, aimed at weakening China’s high-power semiconductor sector — not just exports to China China of the chips themselves, but also the equipment for their manufacture is limited, it is necessary to obtain special permits for cooperation and American specialists with the appropriate profile who intend to work in China.
Meanwhile, according to the Washington-based Semiconductor Industry Association, global semiconductor sales fell 3% year over year as inflation and high lending rates reduced demand for electronics and related products.
China’s integrated circuit exports also fell, falling 10.8% to 230.4 billion units in the first 10 months of the year from 258.2 billion units in the same period last year. At the same time, manufacturing costs increased by 6.2% year-on-year. The problem may be partly related to the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country – due to hygiene restrictions, the ability to fulfill orders has also suffered.