Patrick Frizoni, European president of specialist passives distributor TTI, has warned that components supply could shift as quickly back to allocation as it moved into excess inventories at the end of last year.
At the opening of TTI's new Iberian division, Frizoni said: "I am worried I am not seeing forecasts [from contract manufacturers and OEMs] for later in the year. Without those, it becomes very difficult to deal with any sudden upsurge in demand that will arise if companies want to turn lines back on as quickly as they turned them off in late 2000."
But Frizoni acknowledged TTI's current inventory, standing at $37m in Europe, is "probably too high".
"But, everyone in the industry is in the same situation. All inventories have risen dramatically. However, I think they will start to stabilise back to normal over the next quarter or two," he said.
The Iberian opening sees TTI continue an aggressive European expansion programme despite the downturn. The company intends to add another office on the peninsula this year in either Madrid, Spain or Portugal.
Once this year's location has been chosen, the third Iberian office will follow in 2002. Last month, TTI formally opened its Scandinavian offices in Sweden and Denmark. Frizoni said the company will also be looking to secure its presence in the Finnish and Estonian markets over the course of this year.
As it expands, TTI plans to split its European operations into three regions with the UK forming the core of the Northern European part.
TTI estimates that the Iberian market for passives and connectors is worth a total of €145m.
Stefan Busse, general manager of TTI Iberia, said: "We think we can take quite a significant share of that."