LONDON – The global semiconductor market has some catching up to do if it is to record growth in 2012 as market analysts expect it to do.
The three-month average of chip sales for January and the preceding two months recently reported by the Semiconductor Industry Association (see Chip sales slipped 2.7 percent in January) were based on actual January chip sales of $21.54 billion, according to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization.
WSTS has updated its spreadsheet record without reference to the withdrawal of Intel Corp. and Advance Micro Devices Inc. from the program.
The WSTS estimate of actual global sales in January of $21.54 billion is down 15.0 percent sequentially from actual December 2011 chip sales of $25.35 billion and down 14.4 percent from actual chip sales of $25.17 billion in January 2011.
The poor January showing is partly explained by the movement of the Chinese lunar new year from February in 2011 to January in 2012. This may have suppressed sales in January but have a beneficial effect on sales in February.
Of the four primary regions that WSTS measures Europe was in the worst shape in January with its market measured at $2.74 billion being 17.2 percent down on an annual basis. The Americas regional market was $4.23 billion, down 12.5 percent, while the Asia-Pacific region, at $11.34 billion, was down 16.1 percent annually. Japan, which suffered a great earthquake in March 2011, was relatively unscathed with monthly chip sales in January of $3.22 billion just 8.1 percent down on an annual basis.
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