JSR Is Said to Win Permit to Resume Exports to South Korea

Pavel Alpeyev

(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. 

JSR Corp., one of the Japanese materials makers hit by government restrictions on exports to South Korea, has received a permit to resume shipments, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Tokyo-based maker of photo-resist, a light-sensitive liquid used by semiconductor manufacturers to imprint circuits on silicon wafers, was granted the license on Monday, the person said, asking not to be identified because the details are private. The material is a key ingredient in Samsung Electronics Co.’s plans for chips with 7 nanometer line-widths or less, which are made via the so-called extreme ultra-violet (EUV) process.

JSR’s shares were little changed at the close in Tokyo on Wednesday, reversing an earlier decline of as much as 1.3%. The Topix Chemicals Index, of which JSR is a member, slid 0.9%.

Key Insights

The permit covers about 5 to 6 months of supply and has to be renewed for each successive grade of the material, the person said.JSR spokesman Nobuhiko Kuwashima and a spokesman at Tokyo Ohka Kogyo Co., a rival photo-resist maker, declined to comment. Samsung Electronics also declined to comment.This month, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said the Japanese government had signaled it would approve exports of EUV photo-resist at some point.

In addition to photo-resists, Japan has targeted fluorinated polyimide and hydrogen fluoride, essential ingredients for the manufacture of the displays and semiconductors that go into almost every piece of modern consumer electronics. The move came after South Korean courts ruled that Japanese companies must compensate Koreans conscripted to work in factories and mines during the 1910-45 colonization of the peninsula.

(Updates with share reaction in the third paragraph)

--With assistance from Sohee Kim.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Peter Elstrom

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.