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Japan, Europe chip industry should prepare for the worst

Posted: 08 Jun 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:WSTS? chip industry? semiconductor market?

The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organisation has released updated figures that reveal a much lower 3.7 per cent growth for the Americas region, only two months after saying the chip market in the region would grow to $79.7 billion in 2015, up 15 per cent over its 2014 value. Other noteworthy changes in 2015 include the expectation that Europe and Japan will experience even worse markets than previously forecast.

WSTS reckons the European chip market will contract by 3.6 per cent compared with the previously forecast two per cent fall. Japan is headed for a 9.5 per cent market fall compared with a 3.7 per cent contraction, previously predicted.

However, the Asia-Pacific region, which is set to represent 60 per cent of the total market in 2015, is now expected to grow faster than previously predicted at seven per cent in 2015.

Chip industry forecast

WSTS Spring 2015 forecast summary. Note: numbers in the table are rounded to whole millions of dollars, which may cause totals by region and by product groups to differ slightly. Source: WSTS.

The figures are part of WSTS Spring 2015 market forecast that also forecasts slower global market in 2015, down to 3.4 per cent growth and a total market of about $347 billion. As recently as April WSTS said the global market would be worth $363 billion representing 4.9 per cent growth.

In the Spring 2015 forecast WSTS has increased its forecast for growth in 2016 to 3.4 per cent (compared with the previous view of 3.1 per cent) and has included a prediction of a three per cent growth year for the chip market in 2017.

In 2015 all the major product categories are forecasted to have positive growth rates with the highest being for optoelectronics (8.3 per cent) and analogue (5.6 per cent) category although both have been marked down from the previous expectation.

The reason the Europe and Japan regions have suffered in the latest forecast is because of currency exchange rate changes and how they affect the reporting of euro and yen denominated sales in the US dollar based chart, WSTS said. No reason was given for the overall mark down or the extreme mark down of the US figures.

Semiconductor market growth in 2015, such as it is, will be driven by sales of chips for smartphones and automotive electronics, WSTS said. By end application, automotive and wireless communications are projected to grow stronger than the total market, whereas consumer and computer are assumed to remain almost flat.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times Europe

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