No end to global chip shortage before H1 2023, STMicro CEO says

By Mathieu Rosemain

PARIS (Reuters) -The global chip shortage that is hindering production forecasts of giant companies like Apple Inc and Volkswagen AG is here to stay until the first half of 2023, the chief executive of STMicroelectronics said on Thursday.

“Things will improve in 2022 gradually, but we will return to a normal situation … not before the first half of 2023,” said Jean-Marc Chery in an interview.

By “normal situation,” Chery said he meant regular chip inventory levels and average delays of about three months to replenish components.

The chip shortage, which stems from a boom in demand from a wide range of industries, is stimulating prices, said Chery, who has led the Franco-Italian chipmaker since 2018.

The average price of STMicro’s chips has increased by 5% in 2021 from a year ago, he said, adding that the group expects further price increases in the second-half of 2021 as well as in 2022.

“It’s not like in the past, when everyone was waiting for Microsoft to release a new operating system that would drive demand for many more computers,” Chery said.

“What we have is global shift … with massive orders for components.”

The Geneva-based group will be able to meet only 70% of total customer demand this year, Chery said. That proportion will rise to 85-90% next year as the company invests in production capacity, he added.

Earlier on Thursday, STMicro raised its full-year sales and investment outlook as surging demand from car and phone makers boosted second-quarter profit.

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain in Paris; Editing by Peter Graff and Matthew Lewis)