Record-breaking semiconductor equipment sales for 2018
SEMI, the global industry association representing the electronics manufacturing supply chain, has reported that worldwide sales of new semiconductor manufacturing equipment are projected to increase 10.8% to US$62.7 billion in 2018, exceeding the historic high of $56.6 billion set last year. Another record-breaking year for the equipment market is expected in 2019, with 7.7% forecast growth to $67.6 billion.
Released at last month’s SEMICON West exposition, the association’s mid-year forecast predicts wafer processing equipment will rise 11.7% in 2018 to $50.8 billion. The other front-end segment, consisting of fab facilities equipment, wafer manufacturing and mask/reticle equipment, is expected to jump 12.3% to $2.8 billion this year. The assembly and packaging equipment segment is projected to grow 8% to $4.2 billion in 2018, while semiconductor test equipment is forecast to increase 3.5% to $4.9 billion this year.
In 2018, South Korea will remain the largest equipment market for the second year in a row. China will rise in the rankings to claim the second spot for the first time, dislodging Taiwan, which will fall to the third position. All regions tracked except Taiwan will experience growth. China will lead in growth with 43.5%, followed by Rest of World (primarily Southeast Asia) at 19.3%, Japan at 32.1%, Europe at 11.6%, North America at 3.8% and South Korea at 0.1%.
SEMI forecasts that, in 2019, equipment sales in China will surge 46.6% to $17.3 billion. In 2019, China, South Korea and Taiwan are forecast to remain the top three markets, with China rising to the top. South Korea is forecast to become the second-largest market at $16.3 billion, while Taiwan is expected to reach $12.3 billion in equipment sales.
The association has separately reported that worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment billings reached a historic quarterly high of US$17 billion for the first quarter of 2018, surging 59% in March to end the quarter with an all-time monthly high of $7.8 billion.
The $17 billion in quarterly billings shatters the previous record set in the fourth quarter of 2017. First quarter 2018 billings are 12% higher than the previous quarter and 30% higher than the same quarter a year ago.
North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment meanwhile posted $2.49 billion in billings worldwide in June 2018 (three-month average basis). The billings figure is 8% lower than the final May 2018 level of $2.7 billion and 8.1% higher than the June 2017 billings level of $2.3 billion.
“Global billings of North American equipment manufacturers declined for the current month by 8% from the historic high but is still 8% higher than billings for the same period last year,” said Ajit Manocha, President and CEO of SEMI. “Billings remain robust.”
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