LONDON – Actual chip sales for the Japan region in April were the lowest for 23 months, according to figures from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization. It is likely to be due to the aftermath of the earthquake that struck Japan on March 11, although it is noticeable that all other regions are growing on an annual basis.
These figures differ from the three-month average figures published by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). The SIA and the European Semiconductor Industry Association publish three-month averaged sales figures to smooth out the monthly data that would otherwise show troughs at the beginnings of the quarters and peaks at the ends of the quarters.
Japan's actual chip sales in April were $2.94 billion, down 26.4 percent from $4.00 billion in the previous month and down 18.8 percent from April 2010. The severity of the collapse is exemplified by the fact that in March Japan's chip market was 1.6 percent larger than it had been in March 2010.
All the other regions monitored by WSTS were able to expand their markets in April 2011, compared with the same month a year before. The Americas' region at $4.34 billion in April 2011 was up 8.9 percent on sales in April 2010. Europe achieved $3.14 billion, up 7.6 percent on a year before. The Asia-Pacific region, responsible for more than half the global chip market, was $13.09 billion, up 1.1 percent.