Global semiconductor and connector sales on track for record year

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Global semiconductor sales has record 2018

Semiconductor sales hit $41.4 billion in November, reflecting a 9.8 percent increase from 2017 and a 1.1 percent decrease over a month, according to a Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) report. The slight drop mirrors slowed growth for semis over the past few months.

By contrast, connector sales grew 2.7 percent from the previous year and 6.7 percent from October to November. Despite the slight decline for semis, both components are expected to post record growth for 2018.

Regional Sales Comparisons

Per data tallied by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organization and reported by SIA, semiconductor sales grew in all regional markets Year-Over-Year (YOY), from November 2017 to November 2018.

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China experienced the biggest regional growth overall, logging 17.4 percent. The Americas followed at 8.8 percent, while Europe grew by 5.8 percent, narrowly edging out Japan at 5.6 percent. Finally, Asia Pacific/Other trailed all other regions by posting 4.4 percent growth.

YOY sales performance for connectors, however, broke down differently. Some markets saw growth, while others experienced a decline.

North America, for instance, reportedly led the pack with a 9.7 percent increase, followed by a 4.5 percent increase in Asia Pacific, and a 9.4 percent increase in the rest of the world.

Japan, however, posted a 2.7 percent sales decline, while Europe and China both suffered slight dips of -0.3 percent.

Semiconductors vs. Connectors Sales

Across the world, semiconductor sales grew 17.1 percent YTD through November 2018 compared to 11.4 percent growth for connectors.

The performance gap between them expands regionally, though. Semis in North America reportedly grew 23.2 percent as opposed to 12.0 percent for connectors. Similar, notably larger disparities occurred in China and Japan.

Overall, while semiconductor sales have “outpaced connectors for the past 24 months,” growth for both components is currently slowing.

Year-End Record Sales

Market outlook remains bright in the wake of recent slowdowns. Semiconductors and connectors logged record sales in 2017 and strong year-end projections suggest both components will post record high sales performance for 2018.

As previously reported, semi sales hit a record high in Q3 2018 and year-end revenue projections are expected to hit an industry-high annual tally of $478 billion.

SIA President and CEO John Neuffer seems confident 2018 figures will mark significant growth for semis. “Year-to-year sales increased in November across all major regional markets, with the China market standing out with growth of 17 percent,” Neuffer said in a statement. “Double-digit annual growth is expected for 2018 once December’s sales are tallied, with more modest growth projected for 2019.”

High demand for semiconductors tends to drive up the demand for connectors. Therefore, year-end sales growth for connectors is projected to follow a strong semis lead. A current forecast predicts connectors will see 11.4 percent growth up to $66 billion for 2018.

Positive Outlook in a Turbulent Economic Climate

Given the rapid rate of technological advances across multiple global sectors, the ongoing demand for semiconductors and connectors to power new products in the months ahead seems strong.

While tariff spikes continue to make major global economic impacts, both components seem to remain unaffected. However, a slow down across multiple major world economies (except the U.S.), could potentially contribute to more modest sales performance for semiconductors and connectors in 2019.