Monday, August 15, 2016

A Processor Surge

Here’s yet another unusual chart extracted from Ireland’s External Trade data.


The chart gives monthly exports for category 77 in the Standard Industry Trade Classification: Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances not elsewhere specified and parts.  In the first half of 2015 exports in this category were €1.4 billion; for the first six months of 2016 exports have surged to €3.2 billion.  The dramatic nature of the increase at the start of 2016 is apparent from the chart.

So what are we exporting over a billion and a half’s worth more of in this category.  We can get added insight from the CSO’s Trade Statistics publication (though the most recent release only gives data to the end of May).  Anyway within that our attention is drawn to subcategory 776.42: Processors and controllers.  Here is the relevant extract from the May 2016 release.

SITC 776_42

Exports in this sub-category were €421 million in the first five months of 2015 but have reached €1,958 million in the first five months of this year.  Thus processors account for the surge shown in the first chart above.  Over the full year we could be looking at an increase of around €3 billion in this category.  That the primary destinations of these exports are  Israel and the United States should not come as a surprise. 

What may be a little surprising though are the volume changes.  The Trade Statistics also give data on quantities which in the case of many commodities are measured in tonnes – signified by (t).

The quantity given for 2015 is 62 tonnes while that for this year is 52 tonnes.  The notional price of processors given by this data has gone from €7 million a tonne in 2015 to nearly €38 million a tonne this year.  Processors are obviously not a product sold by weight but this change is indicative of something going on. But what?

1 comment:

  1. Intel's Fab 24 in Leixlip began production of 14nm chips in Q3 2015. 14nm was previously manufactured by Intel only in the US. Half of Intel sales are now 14nm.