LONDON Global chip sales surged by 5 percent in September, to $22.6 billion from the $21.5 billion recorded in August, the fastest increase so far this year, following an excellent August, according to figures from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization.
Year on year growth was 5.9 percent, up from the $21.3 billion sales seen in September 2006, while on a quarterly basis, worldwide unit demand grew 9.3 percent in the third quarter over the previous quarter.
Third quarter sales of $67.8 billion increased by 5.9 percent from the equivalent period last year, when sales were $64 billion. For the first nine months of 2007, sales stand at $188.8 billion, 3.5 percent ahead of the chips sold this time last year, and slightly ahead of forecasts.
Represented as month-on-month growth, overall sales increased by 5 percent, with sales in the Americas region performing best, up to $3.8 billion in September, compared with $3.58 billion for August, an increase of 6.2 percent. The Asia Pacific region, by far the largest for global sales, increased by 5.2 percent to $11 billion in September, while Europe was up 4.6 percent, to $3.53 billion. The laggard in August to September sales was Japan, up by 3.8 percent to $4.2 billion.
The three month moving average sales indicate a 13.2 percent increase with both the Americas and Asia pacific registering a 15 percent increase from the April to June period to July through September. Europe was up by 10.2 percent, while sales in Japan increased by by only 9.8 percent.
However, the figures are different when represented as year-to-date growth. Here, global chip sales are seen rising by 3.5 percent, with the Americas region down 6.4 percent, Asia Pacific up 7.4 percent, Japan up 3.6 percent and Europe increasing sales by only 3.3 percent.
The decline of the US dollar versus the Euro widened its impact on growth rates. Measured in Euros , revenues in September amounted to €2.57 billion, up 3.3 percent on the previous month and down 3.9 percent year-over-year.
The WSTS, whose figures were revealed Monday (Oct. 29) by the European Semiconductor Trade Association (ESIA), suggests that despite some product categories continuing to show strong price pressures, global average selling prices increased by 3.6 percent.
The categories driving growth in September were flash memories, microprocessors and ASICs, with the DRAM market "slightly positive", according to the ESIA, despite big pressures on prices.
Sensors, actuators and DSPs had a poor month. Strong market segments included wireless, consumer and data processing, while the figures indicate automotive has recovered in September after a weak start.