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WSTS downgrades chip sales forecast for 2013

Posted: 11 Jun 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:chip sales? memory? manufacturing?

Alongside reporting weak three-month averaged global chip sales for April, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has said that the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organisation has reduced its estimates for chip market growth for 2013 and 2014.

As a result of the downgrade WSTS now predicts the global chip market will be worth $297.8 billion in 2013, up 2.1 per cent compared with 2012 and worth $312.9 billion in 2014, up 5.1 per cent. For 2015 WSTS is predicting another low growth year of 3.8 per cent.

In a previous estimate given in November 2012 WSTS predicted growth of 4.5 per cent in 2013 and of 5.2 per cent in 2014.

The WSTS Spring market forecast predicts year-over-year increases for 2013 in Asia Pacific (5.7 per cent), Europe (5.3 per cent) and the Americas (1.6 per cent), but a sharp decline in Japan (-13.8 per cent).

No reason was given for the reduced forecast.

WSTS Spring 2013 forecast summary

Figure 1: WSTS Spring 2013 forecast summary. Source: SIA, WSTS.

The three-month average for global chip sales in April was $23.62 billion, slightly ahead of analyst expectations but showing a year-on-year decline from the April 2012 total of $24.06 billion, according to SIA.

April 2013 three-month average sales

Figure 2: April 2013 three-month average sales (in dollar-billions) compared on a yearly, monthly and previous-quarter basis. Click on image to enlarge.

The latest global sales figure represented a 0.6 per cent increase from three-month average sales of $23.48 reported for March 2013, and was slightly ahead of a forecast of $23.5 billion given recently by Bruce Diesen, an analyst with Carnegie Group.

Monthly data is given by the SIA as a three-month average, although the source of the data, the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organisation, tracks actual monthly data. The SIA and other regional semiconductor industry bodies opt to use averaged data because it smoothes out the actual data that typically show troughs at the beginnings of the quarters and peaks at the ends of the quarters.

Compared to April 2012, sales increased in Asia Pacific (3 per cent) and Europe (0.4 per cent), but fell in the Americas (-4.4 per cent) and Japan (-19.4 per cent), in part due to the devaluation of the Japanese yen.

"With modest but steady gains in semiconductor sales in recent months and stronger growth projected for the remainder of this year and 2014, the global semiconductor industry is heading in the right direction as summer approaches, despite a stubbornly sluggish macroeconomic environment," said Brian Toohey, CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association, in a statement. "Industry sales continue to narrowly outpace 2012 totals thanks largely to strong demand for memory and logic products," he added.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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