BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The month of October exceeded expectations in terms of worldwide semiconductor component sales, which were US$15.43 billion, up 6.8 percent from the previous month according to data from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organization, which presents sales as a three month average.
The numbers were put out by the European Electronic Component Manufacturers Association (EECA) on Friday (November 28, 2003). Although European sales were also up, the euro-dollar exchange rate continues to hurt euro currency companies. Europe's year-to-date sales expressed in euros are lower in 2003 than in 2002.
WSTS, EECA and the Semiconductor Industry Association all promulgate the three-month moving averages of monthly sales activity to smooth variations due to companies' sales reporting calendars. These often make March, June, September and December five-week months thereby inflating those month's numbers.
The strong 'averaged' October was the eighth month of increases and was 23.3 percent ahead of the same month in 2002 and helped achieve a year-to-date sales figure that was up 16.4 percent ahead of 2002, EECA said.
The demand for semiconductors was strong all across the board, translating into generally high billings for commodity products as well as for application specific chips. A wide spectrum of applications is now fueling the growth, especially in automotive, personal computer, consumer and wireless communications.
Since September 2003 the WSTS data contains micromechanical actuators in addition to sensors. This new product category has entered a significant volume already and adds an additional 1.2 percent year-to-date growth in comparison with last year.
European Semiconductor sales in October 2003 amounted to US$2.97 billion according to WSTS, up 9.3 percent versus previous month. This corresponds to a 20.8 percent increase compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date, semiconductor sales increased by 16.1 percent versus the same period last year.
The exchange rate of the euro compared to the United States dollar has a very significant impact on the growth data at this time. Measured in euro, semiconductor sales in September were 2.62 billion euro, an increase of 8.2 percent versus previous month but only one of 4.4 percent versus the same month a year ago. In Europe, when measured in euros year-to-date semiconductor sales decreased by 3.1 percent versus the same period last year.