June world chip sales top $17.8bn

Up, up and away... except in Europe

Global chip sales more than maintained their momentum during June, rising 2.8 per cent on the previous month and 40.3 per cent on June 2003's sales to $17.8bn, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), has revealed.

During Q2, some $53.5bn worth of semiconductors were sold around the world, up 9.5 per cent on Q1's $48.8bn and well up on the $38.1bn sold during Q2 2003.

The Asia-Pacific market again showed the strongest year-on-year growth, recording sales up 60.9 per cent, followed by the Americas at 29.7 per cent, Europe at 28.9 per cent, and Japan at 26.3 per cent.

However, Europe continued its sequential decline, with sales down two per cent on May 2004's total. Sales in Asia-Pacific were up 4.9 per cent month on month, followed by Japan (three per cent) and the Americas (2.8 per cent).

Strong DRAM sales - up over 100 per cent year on year - drove the industry's growth rate. Sales of wireless-oriented products were up 86.5 per cent over June 2003's total. Solid sales of digital cameras and camera-equipped mobile phones pushed sales of optoelectronics devices up 52.4 per cent year-on-year.

Following bearish forecasts from Wall Street, the SIA admitted there was "some evidence of inventory accumulation in a few sectors", but it believes that customers are not going over the top and are "continuing to manage inventories very carefully".

As a result, the organisation expects Q3 to show sales up 4-6 per cent on Q2's total. Q2 ended with an average capacity utilisation level of around 95 per cent.

"With strong demand from most major end-use markets, we do not believe excess inventories will be a problem in most market sectors in the near term," the Association said. ®

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