Semiconductor sales on the up

Worldwide sales of semiconductors rose to $16.13 billion in November 2003, a 4.5% increase from the $15.43 billion recorded in October, and a 25.7% rise from November of 2002.

Worldwide sales of semiconductors rose to $16.13 billion in November 2003, a 4.5% increase from the $15.43 billion recorded in October, and a 25.7% rise from November of 2002, according to the latest report from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

‘November has been another exceptionally strong month for the industry with the year-on-year growth accelerating to 25.7%, indicating that 2003’s second half performance is one of the strongest on record for our industry,’ stated SIA President George Scalise.

‘Year-to-date sales through November are 17.4% ahead of 2002. We expect sales for all of 2003 to exceed the current forecast of 15.8% with broad-based strength in all end-markets, especially computation, communications, global consumer and automotive,’ Scalise added.

Rising PC sales contributed to the industry’s growth in the month, with DRAM up 4% and microprocessors up 3.5%. The global wireless market also continued to exhibit strong growth, with flash up 11.2% and digital signal processors up 3.5% in November.

Global consumer electronics markets, which tend to show strong sales in the December quarter, grew briskly in the month, reflecting the holiday buying season and eager adoption of multi-functional devices by consumers around the world. Sales of DVDs and digital cameras were especially strong. Optoelectronics were up 5.3% in November, MOS logic used in products other than computers were up 4.8%, and application specific Analog was up 4.6% in November.

Capacity utilisation reached 95% in the fourth quarter, allowing modest pricing power to continue in the industry.

All geographic markets recorded higher chip sales in November with Europe up 6.4% sequentially, Japan up 4.5%, the Americas up 4.1%, and Asia Pacific up 3.8%.

The SIA’s Global Sales Report (GSR) is a three-month moving average of sales activity. The GSR is tabulated by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organisation, which represents approximately 66 companies. The moving average is a mathematical smoothing technique that mitigates variations due to companies’ monthly financial calendars.

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