The Taiwanese market for specialty gases has rapidly become the world’s largest, with the prices now also being the world’s lowest, reports the Gas Review.
The market for nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) is apparently breaking down due to competition among the large number of nine players in the market, while bulk nitrogen supplied by pipeline is also very cheap at less than $1 per m3.
Nevertheless, the globally soaring prices of crude oil, energy, and raw materials combined with shortages in the supply of silane, helium, and xenon, all effect the Taiwanese market.
In an attempt to halt the ever-falling prices, Air Products San Fu, BOC Lienhwa (BOCLH) and Air Liquide Far Eastern (ALFE) have finally launched a price hike in spite of the good business with rising demand. The attempted price hike is seen as an effort to avoid deflation, as well as difficulties in procuring imported gases such as silane.
The electronics sector accounts for a high 70% of the demand in Taiwan, with the severe competition in pricing to win contracts ensuring that the market is naturally dropping, especially so in the case of LCD.