Shin-Etsu Chemical saw revenue decline 13% in 2008, despite peak polysilicon prices. Revenue of approximately US$1.6 billion was generated, compared to approximately US$1.4 billion in FY2007. However, despite long-term contracts for wafers, the rapid fall in wafer demand from the semiconductor industry has forced the material supplier to not provide quarterly guidance, with executives noting that operations would be judged on a month-to-month basis.
"Demand for 300mm wafers is rising little by little in March and April, and shipments are also starting to come back," Shin-Etsu Director Nakamura told Reuters. "But I don't think 200mm wafer demand will ever return to what it once was."
Semiconductor manufacturers, especially NAND and DRAM producers, have been closing uncompetitive 200mm fabs since 3Q08, in an effort to reduce overcapacity.