Global semiconductor sales totaled $12.9 billion in July, up 2.9 percent from $12.544 billion in June 2003 and up 10.5 percent from July 2002, according to the European Electronic Component Manufacturers Association (EECA) and the European Semiconductor Industry Association (ESIA), quoting figures attributed to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization.
The WSTS figures, normally first disclosed each month by the Semiconductor Industry Association, are presented as a three-month moving average of monthly sales activity. They are compiled that way to smooth variations due to companies' sales reporting calendars.
For the first seven months of the year the worldwide chip market grew 11.6 percent according to the figures. This is ahead of the SIA's figure for 2003 growth over 2002 of 10.1 percent but consistent with the industry group's optimism for the third quarter.
The July numbers show that the recovery is still being driven by Asia with the North American market falling on long-term comparisons although slightly up compared with June. The European market was up strongly in dollar terms but also down strongly based on euro currency.
Japan, which recorded sales of $3.119 billion in July, was the fastest growing region - 4.8 percent up on June and 17.2 percent compared with July 2002. Japan's year-to-date total is up 24.5 percent on the same seven-month period in 2002.
Asia-Pacific, the largest region with July sales of $4.814 billion, grew 2.9 percent compared with June 2003 and 12.9 percent compared with July 2002. Asia-Pacific's year-to-date total is showing 14.4 percent growth compared with the same period in 2002.
In July, the North American market reached $2.506 billion, which was up 1 percent on the previous month but down 3.5 percent compared with July 2002. The Americas region's year-to-date total is running 5.7 percent down on the same period in 2002.
European chip sales in July totaled $2.466 billion, according to the WSTS numbers. That corresponds to a 14.4 percent increase compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date semiconductor sales increased by 13.0 percent compared to the same period last year. Monthly sequential growth was 2.3 percent, EECA said.
However, the exchange rate of the euro compared to the dollar has a significant impact on the data, EECA said.
Measured in euros, Europe's semiconductor sales in July were 2.136 billion euros, a decline of 5.1 percent versus the same month a year ago. On a year-to-date basis, Europe's semiconductor sales have decreased by 7.1 percent versus the same period last year. Monthly sequential growth in June was 0.9 percent.