It was reported on Nov. 16 that the Japanese government has also authorized exports of liquid hydrogen fluoride for semiconductor production lines for the first time since it announced regulations on exports of three key materials to Korea in July.
As a result, the export of restricted export items to Korea has been allowed, even though it is still limited, following photoresist (PR), fluorinated polyimide (FPI), and gas hydrogen fluoride (Etching gas).
According to the trade authorities and industry sources, the Japanese government recently informed them that it accepts its request for permission to export liquid hydrogen fluoride to Korea from Stellachemifa, a local producer of chemical materials.
Analysts say the approval is for some of the goods Samsung Electronics and SK hynix ordered shortly after the announcement of export regulations in July, which were returned on the grounds of document supplementation, taking into account that the screening process for export applications is defined in principle as "90 days."
They said that if the permission is postponed without any particular reason, it could be considered an unfair "export control," which could be disadvantageous during the ongoing World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute due to complaints from South Korea.
In addition, some analysts say that Korean companies have made considerable progress in localization by putting domestic liquid hydrogen fluoride into the process and running it for tests.
Stellachemifa, which received approval for export this time, is known to have been hit hard by sales and operating profit plummeting 21 percent and 88 percent, respectively, from the same period last year during the third quarter when Japan's export regulations to Korea implemented.