In January, South Korea’s semiconductor inventory increased at its quickest rate in in 27 years. Highlighting a protracted tech recession that is holding back the nation’s economic expansion.
The largest increase in chip stockpiles since February 1996. Up 28% from a month earlier, according to a statement from South Korea’s statistics agency. Stockpiles increased 39.5% from a year earlier.
With 12% of all exports in South Korea’s trade-dependent economy last month, chipmakers are a major contributor.
The economy shrank in the final three months of 2022 due to a downturn in global semiconductor demand. And the current quarter also seems difficult as exports continue to decline.
The likelihood of a recovery in chip demand is dimmed by the fact that geopolitical tensions are still high. And that global central banks appear committed to maintaining higher interest rates for longer.
The United States is pressuring South Korea to lessen its reliance on China for semiconductor sales and production. Which might further harm the country’s IT industry. Separately, January factory shipments dropped 25.8%, while chip production decreased 5.7% from December.