LONDON Despite the optimistic commentaries heaped upon the global sales of semiconductors in August by the Semiconductor Industry Association and others, the month's sales returns show the gap between this year and last year increasing. The Americas is the only region bucking this trend.
The August global market for semiconductors was $19.00 billion, down 12.9 percent from the $21.83 billion value of sales recorded in August 2008, according to "actual" data from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization.
In July the global market for semiconductors was $18.89 billion, down 9.1 percent from the $20.79 billion recorded for July 2008. Therefore, even though sales increased in August, compared with July, they are further behind the equivalent month in the year before.
The reason for the discrepancy between the numbers quoted by the SIA and those from the WSTS, is that the SIA takes the WSTS numbers and creates a three-month average from a given month and the two preceding months. It argues that this smoothes out the data which would otherwise display the effect of in-quarter reporting that tend to treat March, June, September and December as five-week months.
Despite the August dip, a 12.9 percent annual decline represents a dramatic turnaround from June when actual global sales were $19.27 billion and 24.5 percent behind where they were in June 2008. Although the SIA publishes WSTS numbers as a three-month average it is meaningful to compare actual sales year-on-year.
The slight rise in the percentage decrease in monthly sales year-on-year could be evidence that, once restocking of the supply-chain has taken place, sales must fall back to service a lower level of underlying demand than was present in 2008 and before.
However, as the industry goes beyond the anniversary of the 2008 economic crash the numbers are almost certain to show percentage increases in monthly sales year-on-year. Secondly, after a year of investment caution some chip types are coming into short supply driving a tendency for average selling prices to increase thereby increasing the market value.
Related links and articles:
August averaged chip sales show global growth, says SIA
July 'actual' chip sales fell 9.1%, says WSTS
Americas region is star of chip market recovery