BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Worldwide sales of semiconductors totaled $12.905 billion in July, up 2.9 percent from $12.544 billion in June 2003 and up 10.5 percent from July 2002, according to the European Electronic Component Manufacturers Association (EECA) and the European Semiconductor Industry Association (ESIA), which quoted numbers attributed to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization.
The WSTS figures, normally first disclosed each month by the U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association, are presented as a three-month moving average of monthly sales activity, and are constructed in that way to smooth variations due to companies' sales reporting calendars.
For the first seven months of the year the worldwide chip market grew 11.6 percent according to the figures. This is ahead of the SIA's figure for 2003 growth over 2002 of 10.1 percent but in-line with the industry group's optimism for the third quarter (see August 4 story).
The July numbers show that the recovery is still being driven by the eastern hemisphere with the America's region market falling on long-term comparisons although slightly up compared with June. The European market is up strongly in dollar terms but also down strongly in terms of the euro currency.
Japan, which recorded sales of $3.119 billion in July, was the fastest growing region -- 4.8 percent up on June and 17.2 percent compared with July 2002. Japan's year to date is up 24.5 percent on the same seven-month period in 2002.
Asia-Pacific, the largest region with July sales of $4.814 billion, grew 2.9 percent compared with June 2003 and 12.9 percent compared with July 2002. Asia-Pacific's year-to-date is showing 14.4 percent growth compared with the same period in 2002.
The Americas market in July 2003, at $2.506 billion, was up 1.0 percent on the previous month but down 3.5 percent compared with July 2002. The Americas region's year-to-date is running 5.7 percent down on the same period in 2002.
European Semiconductor sales in July 2003 amounted to $ 2.466 billion according to the WSTS numbers. This corresponds to a 14.4 percent increase compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date semiconductor sales increased by 13.0 percent compared to the same period last year. Monthly sequential growth was 2.3 percent, EECA said.
However, the exchange rate of the euro compared to the US dollar has a significant impact on the data at this time, EECA said.
Measured in euro, Europe's semiconductor sales in July were 2.136 billion euro, a decline of 5.1 percent versus the same month a year ago. On a year-to-date basis, Europe's semiconductor sales have decreased by 7.1 percent versus the same period last year. Monthly sequential growth in June was 0.9 percent.