WSTS forecasts market growth

(November 6, 2003) Brussels, Belgium&#8212The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) recently released its Fall 2003 forecast, which says market indicators are pointing to growth from 2003 through 2005. The market should grow 14.2 percent in 2003, according to the forecast, to $160.7 billion. Growth is expected to reach a healthy 19.4 percent to $191.9 billion in 2004. In 2005, growth of 12.6 percent is predicted, to $216.1 billion&#8212this would beat the record of 2000 ($204.4 billion). A moderate downturn is foreseen in 2006, the end of the forecast timeframe, with total worldwide sales ending still above the market high of 2000.

Unlike 2002, when the market increased only in Asia/Pac, all regions are returning to growth in 2003 and 2004. In Asia/Pac, the market should grow 18.2 percent in 2003, and 22.7 percent next year. In the meantime, the forecast is 22.5 percent in 2003 and 19.2 percent in 2004 for Japan. For the Americas, growth is expected at 0.8 percent in 2003, and 17.4 percent in 2004. In Europe, the market should see growth of 12.8 percent in 2003, and 15.1 percent in 2004. It is worth noting, however, that the Euro/$ exchange rate is significantly boosting the growth of the European market in 2003, which should be negative in Euro (-4.7 percent). By 2006, Asia/Pac is expected to increase its share of the worldwide market to 40.1 percent from 37.6 percent in 2003, at the expense of Japan (from 23.2 to 22.7 percent), Americas (from 19.6 to 18.6 percent) and Europe (from 19.5 to 18.6 percent).

In the wake of the current upturn, the market is gathering steam from personal computing, wireless communications and digital consumer. Automotive, important for Europe, will keep its pace shown in the last years with double-digit growth, too. Strong growth rates are projected for flash memory in 2003 and 2004 that are much higher than the rest of the semiconductor (41.4 and 38.0 percent); the DRAM market is expected to accelerate from 10.1 percent in 2003 to 29.1 percent in 2004; MPU likewise (11.9 percent and 16.2 percent). Application-specific standard ICs for wireless communications (including DSPs) are expected to grow 29.2 percent this year, and 25.3 percent in 2004. Optoelectronics (35 percent in 2003, and 25.1 percent in 2004) and sensors (42.7 percent in 2003, and 23.7 percent in 2004) are also outgrowing the total market. ASSPs for automotive use are benefiting from the increasing penetration of electronics in cars (11.6 percent in 2003, and 15.8 percent in 2004).

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