Thursday, 4 May 2017

(The Star) Global chip sales up 18% in March

PETALING JAYA: Worldwide sales of semiconductors surged by 18% year-on-year (y-o-y) to US$30.9bil (RM133.37bil) in March, underpinned by solid pace of growth across all markets, according to MIDF Amanah Investment Bank.

The research house, in its technology sector report, said this was the highest-ever sales posted for the month. Similar pace of growth was last seen in October 2011 when sales were up 19.3% y-o-y.

MIDF said global semiconductor sales have consistently stayed above the US$30bil level for the past six consecutive months since October 2016.

“The sales level is also slightly higher as compared to the average 2017 monthly sales forecast of US$30.1bil based on full-year 2017 World Semiconductor Trade Statistics forecasts of US$360.9bil.

“All major regional markets posted double-digit growth on a y-o-y basis, led by China,” MIDF noted.

Overall major semiconductor product categories posted growth, with memory product segment outpacing the rest.

MIDF maintained its positive stance for the technology sector, expecting sales growth momentum emanating from China to remain robust in the foreseeable term.

“This is in tandem with the anticipated heavy investment in fab equipment in the upcoming years. In the immediate term, we expect global semiconductor sales to continue to record positive sales growth on y-o-y basis,” MIDF said.

Meanwhile, on a quarterly sequential basis, global semiconductor sales improved by 1.6% month-on-month from US$30.4bil recorded in February 2017.

While China made about one-third of global sales, MIDF said the country spearheaded sales growth at 26.7% y-o-y, followed by the Americas region which recorded a growth of 21.9% y-o-y.

“Sales from the European region posted encouraging sales growth of 11.1% y-o-y. This represents the first double-digit growth in sales since August 2014,” the research house noted.

Global shipment of smartphone grew by 4.3% y-o-y in the first quarter of 2017 to 347.4 million, driven by China-based smartphone vendors such as Huawei, Oppo and Vivo. These vendors also continue to gain traction in increasing their respective market share.