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Electronics sector expects export recovery this year

An industry group said Monday semiconductor and electronics exports are expected to rebound this year from a 5-percent contraction in 2020 on improving global demand.

The Semiconductor and Electronics Industry of the Philippines Inc. said exports likely declined 5 percent in 2020 to $40.26 billion from $43.3 billion in 2019. The group aims to at least match the 2019 sales this year.

“I think, by and large, demand has recovered. It’s probably increasing to address the needs of the times. For example, the need for distance learning or working from home [would lead to] a lot of the data hardware and cybersecurity. And of course, [there is demand for] automotive especially for e-vehicles, as well as medical electronics. The demand has always been there. It’s slowed down a bit, but it’s starting to recover,” said SEIPI president Dan Lachica.

Lachica said the shortage in semiconductor and electronics supply was triggered by factory “shut down, if not the impairment of the supply chain early in March to April.”

“But since then, we’re starting to recover. In fact, the recovery, at one point in March, we were looking at 20-percent contraction in our orders. But we’re starting to recover. We may be looking at 10 percent-or even 5-percent contraction fueled by certain sectors, and automotive electronics is one of them,” he said.

Data showed that industry exports reached $35.8 billion as of end-November, with 70 percent of them semiconductors.

Large semiconductor and electronics suppliers like Texas Instruments, Amkor Technology Inc. and Maxim Integrates Products Inc. provide components to automotive industries.

Lachica said that even as demand began to pick up, semiconductor and electronics firms would continue to face challenges because of the pandemic.

He said investments were slow to come in the past year. Incentive bills filed by legislators may help the industry generate more investors if “tweaked to help the industry increase expansions, if not new investments,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cirtek Holdings Philippines Corp. said unit Cirtek Electronics Corp. would increase production capacity in the first quarter to boost revenues.

CHPC said in a disclosure to the stock exchange it would increase the production of two major semiconductor customers, which would hike the group’s total output by 20 percent. With Jenniffer B. Austria

Topics: Semiconductor and Electronics Industry of the Philippines Inc. , SEIPI , Dan Lachica
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