Widening US export curbs on advanced semiconductors pushed China’s imports to a record low in 2023, with Bloomberg reporting the value of the country’s purchases fell 15.4 per cent year-on-year to $349.4 billion.

Bloomberg stated the fall was the largest since China started releasing customs data in 2004 and a second consecutive annual decline.

Shipments were down 10.8 per cent.

The decline impacted Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which experienced a 4.5 per cent drop in full year sales to TWD2.2 trillion ($70.4 billion) after an 8.4 per cent fall in December 2023 to TWD176.3 billion. 

Expectations of an early recovery in chip and smartphone demand have been dented by poor results at Samsung and Foxconn

TrendForce last week suggested a murky demand outlook for 2024 means chipmakers are sticking with production cuts to maintain a supply-demand balance, while TF International Securities analyst Kuo Ming-Chi said any improvement in demand for Android smartphones may fall short of market expectations.