Analyst: Macro slump set to hit Asian chip markets

Oct. 6, 2008 – The worsening global macroeconomic environment and eroding consumer confidence won’t spare even the strongest chip markets in Asia, though there are still some bright spots, according to a report from Gartner.

The analyst firm has lowered its forecast for Asia/Pacific’s overall semiconductor market to 5.2% growth in 2008 to $157.1B, down from earlier expectations of 6.4% growth, citing global economic changes and “cloudy” visibility in 2H08, and what it foretells will be “a widespread slowdown in the electronics sector.”

By segment, in general look for China/Hong Kong to still post decent growth (7.1% CAGR) compared with smaller areas, though less than emerging markets, and it will still dominate the region with nearly two-thirds of the total market (see table below). Look for highest growth in India (19% CAGR), leveraging its still-attractive location for electronics manufacturers, and “other” regions (18.7% CAGR) including Vietnam, seen as “increasingly attractive” to global EMS and semiconductor firms, and “likely to emerge as the next major market in the region’s electronics industry,” write Gartner analysts Philip Koh and Chang-Soo Kim.

Meanwhile, major markets including South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore will see their semiconductor consumption fall off. Note both Singapore and Taiwan are seen contracting each year through the forecast period, with Korea losing share in four of the five years, barely escaping 2010 with flat growth.

Looking beyond this year, Gartner sees the Asia-Pacific region growing by 8.4% in 2010, followed by the next cyclical downturn in 2011 (-2.5%), and another upswing in 2012 (7.2%).

Major country-level semiconductor forecast, Asia/Pacific, 2007-2012. (Source: Gartner)
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