Other regional markets declined, with the exception of China which was essentially flat, and as a result the global market also shrank.

In April, the three-month average for the global market for semiconductors was $25.84 billion, down 6.2 percent compared with the same figure in 2015. The year-on-year fall was greater than the 5.8 percent decline recorded in March (see Japan’s chip market grows as global decline abates).

Weakness in the Chinese market and the increasing annual decline suggests that no improvement is likely before 2H16 and even so 2016 could be a declining market for semiconductor sales.

Three-month average of sales for April and March 2016. Source: ESIA/WSTS.

The Americas region showed three-month averaged sales in April of $4.78 billion, down 14.8 percent from the same period a year before. Europe with $2.64 billion of three-month averaged sales and Asia-Pacific including China with $15.82 billion were down 8.6 and 4.2 percent respectively, compared with the same period a year before.

China’s three-month average market – which has continued to grow through the winter but at a much reduced pace – was $7.79 billion in April, up 0.3 percent compared with the same period a year before.

Several semiconductor device categories showed robust month-to-month growth in Europe. The main drivers of April sales were sensors and actuators, discrete devices and analog devices, up 6.7, 4.4 and 1.1 percent respectively compared to March, the ESIA said in a statement.

All monthly sales numbers are compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization and represent a three-month moving average. Monthly data is given by the ESIA as a three-month average, although the WSTS organization tracks actual monthly data. The ESIA and other regional semiconductor industry bodies opt to use averaged data because it evens out the actual data that typically show troughs at the beginnings of quarters and peaks at the ends of quarters. 

Related links and articles:

News articles:

Japan’s chip market grows as global decline abates

Chip market decline deepens

Chip market off to slow start in 2016

Chip market slump drags 2015 annual sales lower

Global chip market to shrink for three years, says IHS

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