Positive phase for semiconductors

WSTS data concerning the sales of semiconductors in the world confirm forecasts: the recovery has finally started. In the first 2017 four-month period, the total value corresponded to 125 billion dollars, with the 18.9% growth with regard to the corresponding 2016-period. The strongest growth was scored in Americas, with 23.5%, while Asia Pacific ranks second with 19.6%. Inside it, however, the record goes, as usual, to China that alone achieved the 26.7% rise. Japan holds the third place, with +12.5%. In its turn, the Emea area scored the 12.0% growth, still in dollars; expressed in Euros, however, this percentage becomes 16.6%.

Forecasts for the remaining part of the year are excellent: the total sales in the world foreseen by WSTS for semiconductors at the end of 2017 amount to 377.8 US billion dollars. In the half-year meeting, held on June 6th in San Josè, in California, they formulated the new forecasts, which assign the global 11.5% growth to the year in course as to the more modest 2016. Asia Pacific will attain the highest percentage with 12.4%, followed by Americas with 12.2%. Emea will register 8.7% and Japan 6.6%. The growth will be essentially driven by sensors and by integrated circuits, which will score rises by 13.9% and by 12.6% respectively. In the ambit of the four sub-categories into which the latter are subdivided, the development is almost exclusively reached by memories, with the 30.4% rise in 2017, while for the other three we range from 7.5% of analog to 6.5% of logic and to 3.3% of micro. WSTS forecasts assign then a new setback to 2018, with the global rise by only 2.7% whereas even the 0.2 downturn is expected for 2019. However, experience induces us to say that medium-and long-term forecasts are scarcely reliable, as it is not possible to establish the possible changes of the general economic and political situation.

The equipment to produce semiconductors will go hand in hand, too, and the investments for their production will be the consequence of the boom of semiconductor sales. SEMI association, which groups the manufacturers of systems for the implementation of these components, foresees that in the current year 49 billion dollars will be spent for these instruments; 8 billions of them will be invested in the creation of new plants. In 2018, the global amount will rise to 54 billions, 10 of which for new plants. Leader nation in this ambit will be South Korea, with 14.6 billions in 2017 and 15.1 in 2018. Taiwan will rank second, followed by China and then by USA. In Emea, they will invest only 3.8 billions in 2017 and 4.6 in 2018.

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