Semiconductor Sputtering Targets & Metal Markets Recovery

Reliance on China for key metals remains a concern

San Diego, CA, May 14, 2024:  TECHCET — the advisory firm providing materials market information for semiconductor supply chain resilience — is forecasting the Semiconductor Sputtering Target market to recover in the second half of 2024. This comes after a contraction of -6% in 2023 due to the industry-wide slowdown and lower wafer starts. TECHCET is currently forecasting a mixed recovery for wafer starts in 2024, which is expected to grow the targets market to US$1.36 billion.

The geopolitical concerns stemming from reliance on key metal and raw material sources in China are posing ongoing concerns for supply chain management and planning. China is the key source of mining, refining, and processing of many ores and metals used in most industries, and is thus a key part of the supply chain for critical materials consumed in semiconductor manufacturing. In particular, China is a leading supplier of aluminum, copper, molybdenum and scandium. They also have major investments around the globe in tantalum and are a leading source of titanium sponge needed for sputter target production. China also dominates tungsten ore mining and refining, needed for both targets and WF6 precursor.

“We continue to follow ongoing supply chain dependencies, as well as macroeconomic and technical developments, some of which could impact the sputter targets market,” states Mike Walden, Sr. Director at TECHCET. Recent volatility in the metals market coupled with persistent input cost pressures are causing impacts along the metal supply chains, from mining to refining.

Semiconductor chip fabrication reshoring / onshoring efforts within the US and other regions are causing target suppliers to seek alternative sources of high-purity metal produced locally. That said, suppliers are facing difficulty with investment decisions as it is uncertain when fab expansions will be complete, especially due to recent delay announcements.

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ABOUT TECHCET: TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory services firm expert in market and supply-chain analysis of electronic materials for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. TECHCET offers consulting, subscription service, and reports, including the Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators and Data Subscription Service (DSS). For additional information, please email us here, call +1-480-332-8336, or go to