World orders for Japan’s chipmaking tools drop

Jan. 16, 2002 – Tokyo, Japan – Worldwide orders for Japanese semiconductor manufacturing equipment fell for the 11th straight month in November.

Orders in November totaled 24.49 billion yen, marking an 85.6% plunge from the year-earlier month and topping October’s 81.3% on-year fall, according to data issued by the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan (SEAJ).

November’s orders also marked a 27.5% decline from October and a 43.5% drop from September, reported Dow Jones.

Hurt by the falloff in demand for chips for use in PCs, mobile phones, and network-related equipment, global semiconductor makers continue to trim capital spending.

The steep on-year falls in orders last year can also be attributed to the IT boom in FY00 that saw orders peak in value terms in June 2000. The slide then began last January, when orders posted their first on-year fall in 23 months.

The book-to-bill ratio for Japanese-made chip manufacturing equipment stood at 0.55 in November, compared with 0.60 in October and 0.55 in September, SEAJ said. The ratio, computed as a three-month moving average, stood below the key 1.00 level for the 10th consecutive month.

In the domestic market, November orders for chipmaking equipment received from both Japanese and foreign firms fell 84.7% on year to 13.18 billion yen; domestic orders were also down 56.2% from October and 58.3% from September, SEAJ said.

Worldwide sales of Japanese-made semiconductor production equipment declined 70.8% in November from a year ago to 40.86 billion yen, the association said. This marked a 34.9% increase from October and a 63.8% drop from September.

Domestic sales of chipmaking equipment at both Japanese and foreign firms fell 66.3% on year in November to 20.94 billion yen; sales were down 15.7% from October, the SEAJ said.


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