November 2, 2004 – Inventory corrections are putting a damper on a traditionally strong month for semiconductor sales, but overall growth for the year is about on target with projections, according to the latest data from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
Worldwide chip sales in September were $18.41 billion, a 1.0% increase from the previous month and 27.4% higher than September 2003. It’s the fourth consecutive month of shrinking growth rates, and the first time in eight months of less than 30% month-on-month growth. Third-quarter chip sales were $54.66 billion, up 4.8% from $52.16 billion in 2Q and 33.1% from $41.06 billion in 3Q03. Chip sales through the first nine months of 2004 stand at $154.26 billion, 33.8% growth from $115.31 billion during the same period in 2003.
Chip sales during September increased in Asia-Pacific ($7.79 billion, 1.6%) and Europe ($3.35 billion, 4.1%), but decreased in Japan ($3.95 billion, -0.5%) and the Americas ($3.32 billion, -1.7%). Year-on-year, sales were led by Asia-Pacific (38.6%), Japan (17.7%), and Europe (23.4%), which surpassed the Americas region. The three-month moving average of sales shows growth led by Europe (7.2%) and Japan (3.2%), with the Americas about flat (less than 1%).
Demand continues despite evidence of inventory corrections in “a few market areas” that flattened September’s results to “the low end of the historic range,” according to SIA president George Scalise. He added that “stronger than expected” sales of PCs and cell phone handsets contributed to increased sales of microprocessors, DSP, flash memory devices, and DRAMs.