The impact of 311 quake and tsunami will be felt worldwide by way of pricing and availability of key components. http://bit.ly/iddAlv
Please pardon our lack of updates here, for obvious reasons, over last few days. We will update as possible more frequently via our Twitter Feed, also suggest the NHK World News on USTREAM for breaking and balanced news from the ground. [Eds]
For every action.. as all eyes are now focused on nuclear power plant integrity at Fukushima, it seems there is now increasing reason for us to be ‘concerned’ here with latest event at #2 this morning. The post 311 quake and tsunami crisis news ranges from the steep stock exchange drop, losing 6% on Monday and down another 6% in opening hours this morning, to emerging scenes of dramatic destruction along with growing tragic loss of life.
Perhaps, understandably, one of the near-term impacts of this event has not been widely reported. We noted in the past that a significant majority of the global component market is produced by Japanese companies. Everything from flash memory and microcontrollers to LCD screens and silicon needed for semiconductors. Contrary to some reports on Japanese handset makers lack of success overseas; they are very much in the game, just below the surface. Depending on which specific parts, and via what sources reporting, somewhere in the average of HALF of these critical components are directly linked to Japan and the current situation here has already started to affect futures pricing.
While actual shortages haven’t occurred yet, the disaster is already affecting component pricing, due to the psychological impact of the disaster. Pricing for higher-density NAND flash already has climbed by as much as 10 percent on the spot market, which buyers use to procure relatively small quantities of parts.
Japan also is the world’s largest supplier of silicon used to make semiconductor chips-at about 60 percent of the global total. If this supply is disrupted due to the logistical and infrastructure challenges Japan is facing this will have an impact not only on NAND flash memory, DRAM, microcontrollers, standard logic, LCD panels and LCD parts, it will also affect other families of products such as discretes, i.e. MOSFETs, bipolar transistors and small signal transistors.
Most of country’s largest electronic component producers operate their manufacturing facilities far to the south of the epicenter of the quake and the areas most impacted by the tsunami. Consequently, damage was negligible. However, companies are facing problems shipping components, receiving raw materials and getting workers to their facilities. Power interruptions also are slowing production—and can be a major impact on the operations of manufacturing facilities—depending on the type of product being manufactured.
For example, Toshiba Corp., the world’s second-largest producer of NAND flash, said shipments of NAND from its central Japan plant could drop by up to 20 percent in January and February. However, leading NAND supplier Samsung Electronics of South Korea should be able to partially compensate for the shortfall.
Furthermore, Hitachi’s fab is closest among the small/medium display facilities to the earthquake site. Production at this Hitachi fab was halted on Monday to gauge the impact on the quake. Even if no structural damages are found, production is likely to be impacted by the ensuing interruptions in the power supply. Full details via iSuppli.