September 30, 2019 08:46
Not a single shipment of hydrogen fluoride was imported from Japan here in August since Tokyo restricted exports of the vital material for semiconductor production to Korea in July.
The Japanese Finance Ministry's monthly trade statistics show exports of hydrogen fluoride to Korea at zero in August.
Tokyo had warned it would now take up to 90 days to approve any shipment.
Only one permit has been granted since July, increasing worries of a shortage once Korean chip and display makers' stockpiles run out.
Japan has a near-monopoly on high-purity hydrogen fluoride, and Korean IT giants are desperately casting around for alternatives to avoid using inferior product that entails a higher failure rate.
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