Japan figures show slowing growth, but demand still strong

September 9, 2004 – The latest monthly data from the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan (SEAJ) provide more evidence of strong, yet slowing, demand for semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

Worldwide orders for Japanese semiconductor manufacturing equipment were 141.86 billion yen ($1.30 billion) in July, a 13% decline from 164.53 billion yen ($1.48 billion) in June, with a slowdown in orders from Taiwanese chipmakers partially offset by demand from China. Sequentially, all segments except related equipment were down between 9%-45%.

Year-on-year, the largest category (wafer processing, accounting for 2/3 of all equipment orders) showed the smallest gain, up only 29%, while other categories showed more robust growth of 46%-120%. Global orders increased 43.8% year-on-year — the lowest growth rate in 10 months, after tracking at 100% or more from late 2003 into spring of this year. Through July, global orders of Japanese chipmaking equipment were 614.71 billion yen ($5.63 billion), nearly 70% ahead of the same period a year ago.

Domestic equipment orders were 79.98 billion yen ($732.4 million), down 6.1% from June and up 40.5% from a year ago. Through July, domestic orders were 309.08 billion yen ($2.83 billion), about 28% ahead of the same period a year ago, with most of the impetus coming from the backend (assembly +51%, test/inspection +47%).


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