Having lost the opportunity to receive new lithographic equipment from foreign companies, Chinese manufacturers of semiconductor components turned to the secondary market, which was already in a fever due to the shortage of automotive chips. As a result, the prices for used equipment have increased several times, and suppliers have to work literally from the wheels.
The Nikkei Asian Review describes the situation in the Japanese market for used lithographic equipment. Local suppliers explain that prices have increased by 20% since the beginning of this year, and some items have tripled in price. The equipment of previous generations is not subject to US sanctions, so Chinese manufacturers are actively buying it on the secondary market. The deal is concluded even if the buyer is not completely sure what he will do with this equipment in the future. The copies that were sold for a song a few years ago now cost hundreds of thousands of US dollars.
Market participants note that the shortage of semiconductor components for cars against the background of such a rush from Chinese manufacturers can only worsen. Leading manufacturers also have a need for equipment, and for the production of automotive chips, most often, neither modern technological processes nor equipment for silicon wafers of 300 mm are required. Used equipment would also work, but the Chinese are buying it. One of the Japanese suppliers even reduced the leased warehouse space in Taiwan, since the equipment in the warehouses does not stagnate, immediately going to customers.
It is not uncommon for used equipment to turn out to be more expensive than newer modern equipment, simply because it is available and it is not necessary to wait for its delivery for a long time. Canon in these conditions for the first time in nine years resumed production of equipment for processing silicon wafers with a standard size of 200 mm, but the efforts of one manufacturer are not enough to saturate the market, so the secondary segment will not reduce its activity.