LONDON -- Handelsbanken Capital Markets has predicted that the worldwide chip sales figures for June 2004, due to be published over the weekend as a three-month moving average by World Semiconductor Trade Statistics, would be $17.43 billion, up from $17.32 billion in May and up 37 percent compared with June 2003.
The predicted June year-on-year growth figure compares with a May's three-month average growth figure of 35 percent, with April's year-on-year growth of 36.7 percent, 32.3 percent growth recorded for March and a figure of 30.8 percent growth for February 2004.
If Handelsbanken's prediction proves correct it suggests that the worldwide chip market growth was increasing during the second quarter of 2004 but, ironically, when the individual months sales are extracted from the three-month average the numbers would show sales in June 2004 down on May 2004, Handelsbanken said.
The world's semiconductor industry associations put out sales reports as three-month moving averages of monthly sales activity to smooth out variations due to companies' monthly financial calendars.
"Using our seasonal adjustments, that is a 2 percent month-on-month decline versus May," said Bruce Diesen, analyst with Handelsbanken. "We expect weaker shipments of both PC, handset and consumer electronic chips. Handset chips sold at a 164 mill. run rate in April and May, ahead of our estimate of 150 mill. handsets sold in the quarter, implying some inventory build-up, perhaps at Nokia and some of the Chinese handset makers."
Handelsbanken Capital Markets, a business unit of Svenska Handelsbanken AB based in Stockholm, Sweden, said it is sticking to its forecast for 2004 calendar year growth at 26 percent and to 9 percent growth for 2005. This leaves Handelsbanken amongst the most bearish of prognosticators for 2004 and in the middle of the pack for 2005, but a long way behind the Sevenoaks, England-based market research firm Future Horizons, which re-iterated a 28 percent growth prediction for 2005 on Friday (July 30).