Two-speed global chip market continues to run hot

May 08, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
The global chip market was running hot in the first quarter of 2017 with Europe and Japan achieving 10 percent year-on-year growth and the US and Japan growing their chip markets by more than 20 and 25 percent respectively.

The three-month average for global market grew by 18.1 percent year-on-year in March to stand at $30.88 billion, according to the SIA, which reports numbers compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organization.

Europe overtook Japan in growth rate with the three-month average for region's chip market in March at $2.96 billion. The three-month average ascribed to March is a proxy for the actual sales in the first quarter. These sales were up 11.1 percent over the same period a year before. Japan's three-month averaged sales of $2.87 billion were up 10.7 percent compared with a year before.

But the hottest market for chip sales continues to be China. The three-month average for the Chinese chip market stood at $10.07 billion, up 26.7 percent over the same period a year before. China alone is a third of the global chip market and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan and China is nearly another third.

The Americas region is also growing rapidly with three-month average sales of $5.96 billion in March, up 21.9 percent compared with a year before.

Three-month average of sales for March and February 2017. Source: SIA/WSTS

"Global semiconductor sales saw solid sales growth in March, increasing sharply compared to last year and more modestly compared to last month," said John Neuffer, CEO of the SIA, in a statement. "Global sales are up 18 percent compared to last year, the largest increase since October 2010, with all major regional markets posting double-digit year-to-year growth. All major semiconductor product categories also experienced year-to-year growth, with memory products continuing to lead the way."

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