TOKYO -- Sales in Japan of chip-making equipment made by both Japanese and foreign companies nearly doubled in July from a year earlier, up 76 percent to Y61.37 billion (about US$520 million), according to a Dow Jones report issued Wednesday (August 27, 2003) that cited the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan as its source.
The strong domestic sales were complemented by strengthening orders for Japanese-made semiconductor manufacturing equipment from around the world, which rose 27 percent in July from a year earlier to Y98.64 billion (about US$840 million) as demand in Asian nations picked up and complemented strength in Japan.
Worldwide sales of Japanese-made semiconductor production equipment grew 21 percent on year in July to Y77.22 billion (about US$655 million), the report said.
July's orders were also up 7.8 percent from June's figure. The book-to-bill ratio for Japanese chip-making equipment, computed as a three-month moving average, came to 1.40 in July down from the 1.57 scored in June, the report said (see July 29 story).
But this was the third month with the b-to-b ratio above 1.0 and indicates a rapid increase in business for Japan's chip-making equipment vendors.
"Japanese chip makers continue to lead the order growth. Demand for wafer-processing equipment was particularly brisk not only in Japan but also in (the rest of) Asia," the report quotes an SEAJ official as saying.
The book-to-bill ratio for Japanese chip making equipment, computed as a three-month moving average, was 1.57 in June, up from 1.04 in May, from 0.78 in April and 0.71 in March.
However, Japanese domestic orders for chip-making equipment made by both Japanese and foreign companies slipped in July by 5.3 percent to Y56.93 billion (about US$480 million). The report said an SEAJ official had attributed the drop to exceptionally high orders in the same month a year before and had said that demand from domestic chipmakers remained strong.