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50-cent semiconductor problem yet to drag on Acer's deliveries

Laptop computer manufacturer Acer Inc. is feeling "growing pressure because of component shortages," according to CEO Jason Chen, Nikkei Asia reported. The company is experiencing a "crowding-out effect" due to increased semiconductor demand from automakers — as discussed in Panjiva's research of March 5 — as well as video game console manufacturers. Chen noted, though, that the shortages are not in processors but rather "companion chips that are only worth 80 cents or even 50 cents per unit."

There is little sign of Acer suffering a loss of production linked to the shortages, however. Panjiva's data shows that U.S. seaborne imports linked to the company surged 232.6% year over year in January and February combined, following a 123.9% rise in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Some caution is needed with comparisons given the variation of the Lunar New Year and start of pandemic-related disruptions in February 2020, although imports in January and February 2021 combined were still 84.4% higher than the same period of 2019.

U.S. seaborne imports of computers more broadly climbed 106.4% in January and February combined, Panjiva's data shows. Aside from a 117.4% rise in imports linked to Acer, there was also a 147.7% rise in imports linked to Lenovo Group Ltd. Shipments associated with Dell Technologies Inc. and HP Inc. rose 76.3% and 93.2%, respectively. Again, some caution is needed with regards to 2020 figures. Shipments linked to Dell, HP and Lenovo were all actually lower in January and February 2021 than the same period of 2019.

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Christopher Rogers is a senior researcher at Panjiva, which is a business line of S&P Global Market Intelligence, a division of S&P Global Inc. This content does not constitute investment advice, and the views and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of S&P Global Market Intelligence. Links are current at the time of publication. S&P Global Market Intelligence is not responsible if those links are unavailable later.