According to reports, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan recently relaxed the export control of three semiconductor materials to South Korea. Regarding the photoresist photoresist coated on the substrate, Japan has adjusted the application for specific business transactions: the period for which a license can be obtained has been extended from the current first half of the principle to a maximum of three years. For Japanese exporters, this will help reduce transaction procedures.
Against this background, can the export favorableness of domestic semiconductor materials continue?
Public information shows that electronic grade hydrofluoric acid is mainly used in semiconductor manufacturing processes for cleaning, etching and other steps. Global semiconductor-grade hydrofluoric acid production technology is mainly in the hands of Japanese companies, and the proportion of electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid required by Korean semiconductors is not less than 50% imported from Japan. The market believes that, on the one hand, Korean companies need to re-select new suppliers, on the other hand, their domestic consumption will increase, and exports to China and other countries may be affected.
Domestic electronic grade
Profit from hydrofluoric faucet
According to the research report of CITIC Investment, the global annual production capacity of electronic grade hydrofluoric acid is about 200,000 tons. Among them, the annual production capacity of electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid in mainland China is 90,000 tons, the annual production capacity of electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid in Taiwan is about 30,000 tons, the annual production capacity of electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid in Japan is about 60,000 tons, and the annual output of electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid in Europe and the United States. The production capacity is about 15,000 tons. Overseas manufacturers of electronic grade hydrofluoric acid include: Japan's Stella Company (the first production of electronic grade hydrofluoric acid), Formosa Plastics (the second production of electronic grade hydrofluoric acid) and so on.
At present, there are about 11 electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid manufacturers in China (including those already in production and under construction), but the technology is still in the low-to-medium stage. At present, only three companies can reach the UP-SS level (that is, G4 level) for semiconductors. Four of them, the main ones that have been put into production are polyfluoropoly (G5) and benhua shares (G4); according to industry opinion, the current level of electronic grade hydrofluoric acid that can meet the demand for 12-inch wafers, that is, G5 or UP- At the SSS level, there are currently polyfluoride and Hubei Xingli under construction.
In the context of Japan's restrictions on the export of electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid products to South Korea, a Securities Times · e company reporter had previously learned that when interviewing domestic leading companies in the hydrofluoric acid industry, the frequency of Korean companies going to China to negotiate electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid purchases has increased significantly. .
The person in charge of polyfluoride and polyfluoride had told the Securities Times e company reporter that in the second half of 2018, the company's electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid entered the supply chain of many global leading semiconductor companies, and its quality reached the highest level of UPSS in the world. Since September 2019, foreign orders have surged, prices have risen, and export volumes have exploded. In 2018, the sales volume of the company's semiconductor electronic hydrofluoric acid exceeded 1,000 tons, an increase of more than 600% over the same period of the previous year, and its sales reached nearly 20 million yuan, which became the company's new profit growth point. It is expected that by the end of 2019, the company will build a new capacity of 5,000 tons, and plans to start production in the first quarter of next year, when it will reach a production scale of 10,000 tons.
On the interactive platform, some investors also asked Binhua Co., Ltd. whether the electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid produced by the company could replace Japan and export to South Korea. The company secretary has publicly replied that the company will focus all efforts to open up all new products into the market, continue to promote new product development and optimize the structure of varieties, and increase electronic grade hydrofluoric acid, lithium hexafluorophosphate, epichlorohydrin, and difluoromethane. Product customer research, development and reserve work, and form new profit growth points as soon as possible.
Affected by the above events, in July 2019, the domestic stock prices of leading domestic hydrofluoric acid industries, including polyfluoropoly and benfarin, all gained strong support from the secondary market. Among them, the maximum cumulative increase of polyfluoride and polydoped was more than 40%, and Binhua Co., Ltd. is estimated to have harvested a maximum increase of more than 26%.
The supply link to South Korea has been opened
After Japan relaxes export restrictions on Korean semiconductor materials, can the export benefits of domestic leading hydrofluoric acid companies continue?
"At present, the company has not heard of relevant news, and the supply to downstream Korean customers is still stable." On December 23, the person in charge of Dofdo said in an interview with Securities Times · e company reporters that in July this year After the semiconductor dispute, the company ’s export volume to Korea ’s electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid has greatly increased. At present, it has formed a stable supply relationship with a number of South Korean customers, and has officially entered the supplier system of downstream customers.
"The supply of electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid requires a rigorous review process. Once the supply relationship is established, it will not be easily cancelled. Moreover, after this incident, Korean customers also clearly realized the need to break the previous single supply structure and reduce the supply risk. Therefore, even if Japan resumes the export of Korean electronic grade hydrofluoric acid, it will not have a significant impact on the company's exports. "The person in charge said.
The relevant person in charge of Binhua shares also said in an interview with the Securities Times · e company reporter on the 23rd that although the company had previously sent samples to Korean customers many times, it finally officially entered the supplier system after the incident of Japan-Korea trade disputes. Reduced review time.
"Although the total amount of electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid exported by the company to South Korea is still small, the overall supply channels have been successfully opened." It also said that at present, Binhua has formed a stable supply relationship with Korean customers and will not Affected by the restart of supply in Japan.
Southwest Securities has also analyzed in a previous research report that high-purity electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid is used for high-end wafer etching, which is one of the key materials for semiconductor production. Generally, the supply certification cycle is very long, and it takes at least 1 to 2 years to determine the supplier. It is difficult to replace later. In July, Japan imposed sanctions on South Korea by restricting exports of electronic hydrofluoric acid and other products. The original stable supply relationship was broken. Chinese mainland enterprises ushered in historical opportunities and are expected to accelerate the supply of Korean semiconductor markets in the future.
Lianxun Securities also previously reported that the time required for Japan's export review is about 3 months, and the semiconductor material inventory of Korean companies such as Samsung and Hynix is generally 1 to 2 months. Therefore, if Japan ’s control measures against South Korea continue Strict implementation means that Korean companies are facing the risk of supply cuts, and domestic electronic-grade hydrofluoric acid companies are expected to usher in a good opportunity. In addition, from a long-term perspective, China has become the world's largest LCD production region. The demand for cleaning and etching electronic chemicals such as integrated circuits, photovoltaics, and liquid crystal displays is constantly increasing, and there is huge room for long-term growth. Related companies are expected to benefit from long-term cycles.
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