SEMI: Tool sales slumping -43% in ’08-’09, but 2010 will bounce back

Dec. 2, 2008 – Following a ~6% increase 2007, semiconductor equipment sales will plunge nearly -28% in 2008 and another -21% in 2009, but will see a big recovery in 2010 with the backend segment leading the way, according to the latest projections from SEMI.

The group pegs total equipment sales to fall 27.7% this year to $30.91B, a big slump from midyear projections of a -17% decline. It’ll be ugly across the board, with the “best” performance in assembly/packaging with only a -23.8% decline. Total equipment sales are expected to dive another -21.4% in 2009 to $24.29B, with the test segment “outperforming” with just a -17.1% decline, better than the ~-22% declines in wafer processing and assembly/packaging.

Look for a rebound in 2010, SEMI notes, with 30.8% growth in tool sales to $31.77B, and >31% growth in both wafer processing and assembly/packaging sectors.

By geography, Japan’s tool sales will decline about -20% this year (to $7.42B), but that’ll be enough to retake the top spot for regional sales of new equipment, given a huge -47% drop in Taiwan’s sales (to $5.59B, third place behind North America’s $5.60B), SEMI indicates. Following Taiwan down the slide are China (-35% to $1.9B) and South Korea (-27.9% to $5.30B), while North America, Europe (-19.6% to $2.36B) and Rest-of-world (-10.0% to $2.74B) will do better than the overall market.

In 2009, look for the top three regions to all suffer another >-20% decline (Taiwan -28.7%, Japan -28.7%, North America -22.2%), closely followed by South Korea/China/ROW at ~-18% — and surprisingly, Europe with an increase of 3.4%.

In 2010, SEMI sees Taiwan reversing its fortunes with a 61.5% spike in tool sales to $6.44B, closing the gap with No.1 Japan (22.4% to $6.58B), while South Korea (18.7% to $5.16B) slips past North America (16.8% to $5.09B) for the third spot. Heavy growth also will be seen in China (43.2% to $2.22B) and ROW (47.3% to $3.28B).


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