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September, Q3 chip sales fall below par

November 08, 2010 // Peter Clarke

September, Q3 chip sales fall below par

The market for semiconductor chips softened in the third quarter and fell behind the ten-year average historical averages according to an analysis of data from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organization. However, so strong was the rebound in the first half of 2010 that the market is still set to show strong growth for the full year compared with 2009.

In September the "actual" global market for chips was $29.37 billion, up 20.8 percent from the same month a year before and up 15.5 percent compared with actual sales in August, according to WSTS. However, the sequential percentage growth in chips sales was less than over the previous decade, which has, on average, shown a sequential rise of 24.2 percent.

The below ten-year-trend in actual September chip sales follows a similar result in August but an above trend result in July.

For the third quarter of 2010 chip sales were $79.385 billion, up 26.25 compared with the same quarter a year before and up 6.1 percent compared with 2Q010. However, this sequential percentage growth is below the ten-year average for quarterly sequential percentage growth of 8.1 percent.

The second quarter of 2010 showed sequential growth of 7 percent, ahead of the ten-year average of 2.9 percent.

Over the last decade fourth quarter global chip sales have shown, on average, a sequential dip of 0.6 percent. With the highest and lowest growth figures taken out the market has, on average, grown by 1 percent.

A flat chip market in Q4 would bring the annual total in at about $303 billion, whereas a sequential dip of 3 or 4 percent would bring the market up to almost exactly $300 million and annual growth of about 33 percent.

All the above figures are based on actual chip sales rather than the three-month-moving averages used by the Semiconductor Industry Association and the European Semiconductor Industry Association. These organizations use an average to smooth out monthly data that would otherwise show troughs at the beginning of the quarters and peaks at the end of the quarter.

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