European chip market turns ‘schizophrenic’
Euro-dollar exchange rates affected European chip market figures significantly in February 2015 with the three-month average of European chip market showing growth when interpreted in euros and showing a decline in dollar terms.
That’s according to figures reported by the European Semiconductor Industry Association (ESIA) based on data compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization.
The three-month average of global chip sales in February was $27.79 billion, an increase of 6.7 percent compared with the equivalent figure from a year before. However, the global growth was down from the previous month – when it achieved 8.7 percent – and the month before that when it was 9.3 percent, suggesting that a bullish run for the global chip market winding down.
As has been the norm for many quarters regional fortunes varied widely. The three-month average for chip sales in the Americas region was up 17.1 percent compared to February 2014 while Japanese region averaged sales were down 8.8 percent. Both were more extreme than the same figures from a month before.
In the Asia-Pacific region, which is responsible for more than half of the global market, annual growth slowed to 7.6 percent, down from annual growth of 10.8 percent for January.
The three-month average for European region February sales showed sales shrinking on an annual basis to $2.90 billion, down 2.0 percent compared with February 2014. However, when measured in euros sales stood at €2.45 billion, up by 13.2 percent on an annual basis.
Looking at product segments, in Europe in February there was strong demand for discrete and optoelectronic semiconductor devices, for sensors and MOS microprocessor units, according to ESIA. Europe’s sales for the first two months of 2015 are down 3.1 percent when measured in dollars but up 14.8 percent when measured in euros. The global market for the first two months of 2015 is up 6.2 percent in dollar terms.
Monthly data is given by the SIA as a three-month average, although the WSTS organization tracks actual monthly data. The SIA and other regional semiconductor industry bodies opt to use averaged data because it evens out the actual data that typically show troughs at the beginnings of quarters and peaks at the ends of quarters.