Wet Chemicals Challenges to Growing Demand and Imports – Double-Digit Growth; Changing Market Landscape

Acquisitions and Investments to Alter Supply Chains

San Diego, CA, March 15, 2022:  TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory firm providing business and technology information— announced a positive growth outlook for Wet Chemicals through 2026; The 2022 Wet Chemicals, including both Basic Chemicals and Specialty Cleans, market is forecasted to surpass US$2.5 billion, as semiconductor wafer starts push forward and the number of process steps increases for leading-edge devices. Challenges exist in the market: both raw material and logistic costs rise in the near-term; and purity and residue removal at leading-edge nodes pushes the yield envelope during processing. Asia Imports for high purity chemicals appear to be the only supply currently available that can satisfy forecasted demands.

Acquisitions and investments will be changing the market landscape for the Wet Chemicals segments. Numerous announcements have been made concerning new plants and plant expansions to boost chemical manufacturing technology in regions of strong fab investments: US (Arizona area); China; South Korea; and Taiwan. The investments occurring in South Korea continue the localization trend of boosting domestic supply of key chemicals critical to the semiconductor fabs there.

China is a key source of raw materials for manufacturing critical Wet Chemicals, and surging production costs and strong domestic demand has resulted in higher pricing for chemicals. For example, both Sulfuric and Hydrofluoric Acids prices increased in 2021. Pricing pressures remain in the marketplace, especially for the supply chain in China, as energy costs/constraints and environmental issues will likely keep upward pricing pressures in place over the foreseeable future.

The Specialty Cleans segment, which includes Post-Etch Residue Removal (PERR) and post-Chemical Mechanical Planarization (pCMP) cleaning, will experience 6.8% growth in 2022 and a 5% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) through the 2021 to 2026 forecast period. PERR formulations are proprietary and precise control of the formulations and the process is critical for high yields. Cobalt CMP is a relatively new process and is being incorporated into all leading-edge logic devices at 5 nm and below process nodes.

For Basic Chemicals, lower levels of purities are required for Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) and Sulfuric Acid in leading-edge in logic processes, and this presents new manufacturing challenges for the suppliers. Usage of Special Phosphoric Acid blends are growing and are critical to 3D NAND growth.

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ABOUT TECHCET:  TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory services firm focused on process materials supply-chains, electronic materials business, and materials market analysis for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. Since 2000, the company has been responsible for producing the Critical Material Reports™, covering silicon wafers, semiconductor gases, wet chemicals, CMP consumables, Photoresists, and ALD/CVD Precursors. The Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators is a business service offered by TECHCET, and includes materials supplier Associate Members. For additional information about reports, market briefings, CMC membership, or custom consulting please contact info@cmcfabs.org, +1-480-332-8336, or go to www.techcet.com.