No reason was given for the drop although the year before's sales figure was the highest for the year. January's year-on-year decline was the third in a row for TSMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan) suggesting that oversupply in the smartphone sector is hurting its customers.
Chinese New Year fell in February in both 2015 and 2016 so a shift in that holiday does not explain the weakness in January. TSMC's January sales were NT$70.86 billion (about $2.14 billion), an increase of 21.4 percent compared with December 2014.
UMC's January annual decline came after an annual decline of 12.5 percent in December. Sequentially UMC's January sales were down 1.6 percent.
An earthquake in the Tainan region on February 6 did cause foundries to shut down automatically. TSMC said the quake did not cause any serious personnel injuries nor any structural or facility damage to the company’s Fab 14 and Fab 6 manufacturing sites in the Tainan Science Park. The earthquake also did not cause equipment to shift position.
Damage to wafers in progress remains under assessment, but TSMC said it does not expect the earthquake to affect first quarter 2016 wafer shipment by more than 1 percent.
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