Global Chip Sales Reach $12.1 Billion in March 2003

Global Chip Sales Reach $12.1 Billion in March 2003
First Quarter Sales $36.4 Billion + 13% Year-over-Year

SAN JOSE, Calif. – April 28, 2003 – Worldwide semiconductor sales climbed to $12.1 billion in March 2003, a 2.6% sequential increase from the $11.8 billion in revenue reported in February 2003. For the first quarter of 2003, industry sales were $36.4 billion, a 3.2% sequential decline from the final quarter of 2002 and a 13% increase from the $32.19 billion in industry revenue reported in 2002’s first quarter, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported today.

“A number of the products that were weak in February reversed course, showing renewed demand in March,” stated SIA President George Scalise. “The sequential revenue increase we recorded in March, and the 13% year-over-year revenue gain for the first quarter, under trying global geopolitical conditions, demonstrates once again the resilience and strength of this industry.”

“We continue to expect double digit growth for 2003,” Scalise said, “led by continuing increases in consumer purchases of PCs, an anticipated corporate PC upgrade cycle later in the year, and a strong global wireless sector. The emerging Wi-Fi sector will add strength to the market as new products are introduced during the year.”

“Leading edge capacity utilization remains high, reaching beyond 90% in March,” Scalise stated. “Assuming this level of utilization holds, we should see price stability return to the market. Inventories are slowly trending downward, as supply and demand come into a better balance.”

Among product gains in March, MPUs sold into computers rose by 5.9%, Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) and Flash memory used in cell phones were up 2%, and Optoelectronics
were up 7.7%.

Sales in the Asia-Pacific market, the world’s largest with 36% of total chip consumption, were up 17.2% year over year in March, and sales in Japan, with a 23% share, rose 33.5%. Sales in Europe, now the third largest market, rose by 11.3% in March, while sales in the Americas, with a 20% market share, fell by 8%, reflecting the migration of the electronic equipment market – including component sourcing, design services, and electronic equipment production, to Asia.

The SIA’s Global Sales Report (GSR) is a three-month moving average of sales activity. The GSR is tabulated by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization, which represents approximately 66 companies. The moving average is a mathematical smoothing technique that mitigates variations due to companies’ monthly financial calendars.

March 2003
Month-to-Month Sales
Market Last Month Current Month % Change
Americas 2.41 2.40 -0.3%
Europe 2.44 2.51 2.8%
Japan 2.69 2.81 4.8%
Asia Pacific 4.28 4.40 2.8%
Total 11.82 12.13 2.6%

Year-to-Year Sales
Market Last Year Current Month % Change
Americas 2.61 2.40 -8.0%
Europe 2.26 2.51 11.3%
Japan 2.11 2.81 33.5%
Asia Pacific 3.76 4.40 17.2%
Total 10.73 12.13 13.0%

Three-Month-Moving Average Sales
Market Oct / Nov / Dec Jan / Feb / Mar % Change
Americas 2.60 2.40 -7.5%
Europe 2.54 2.51 -1.2%
Japan 2.77 2.81 1.4%
Asia Pacific 4.61 4.40 -4.6%
Total 12.53 12.13 -3.2%