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Russia limits its exports of noble gases, a major component of making chips

Russia limits its exports of noble gases, a major component of making chips

JUNE 2 (Reuters) – (This June 2 story corrects paragraph 5 to show that Russia is responsible for 30% of the supply of three noble gases, not all of the noble gases)

Russia, which is suffering from sanctions, has limited exports of noble gases such as neon, a key ingredient in the chip industry, until the end of 2022 to strengthen its market position, the Russian Trade Ministry said Thursday.

Russia’s export restrictions may exacerbate the supply crisis in the global chip market. Ukraine was one of the world’s largest suppliers of noble gases until it suspended production at its plants in Mariupol and Odessa in March.

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The Russian government said on May 30 that exports of noble gases, which Russia used to supply to Japan and other countries, will only be allowed with special permission from the state until December 31.

Deputy Trade Minister Vasily Shpak told Reuters via the ministry’s press service on Thursday that the move would provide an opportunity to “rearrange those chains that are now broken and build new ones.”

Russia accounts for 30% of the global supply of three noble gases – neon, krypton and xenon, according to the ministry’s estimates.

Taiwan, the world’s largest producer of chips, imposed restrictions on exports of this product to Russia after Moscow sent thousands of soldiers to Ukraine on February 24.

“We plan to increase our production capacity (of the noble gases) in the near future. We believe we will have a chance to have our voice heard in this global chain, and this will give us some competitive advantage if it is necessary to build mutually beneficial negotiations with our colleagues,” Shpak said.

Reporting by Reuters. Editing by Richard Chang

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