Chip tool demand slumps in 2Q12, though Taiwan shines

September 12, 2012 – Global demand for semiconductor manufacturing equipment slipped -4% in 2Q12 with softness in just about every region — except in Taiwan, which stepped on the pedal during the quarter, according to updated data from SEMI and SEAJ.

Worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment totaled $10.34B in 2Q12, down -4% from the previous quarter and about -13% from a year ago. Bookings were also down -4% sequentially, and were off by -10% year-on-year, to $9.70B. Note that these numbers include upwardly revised billings for North America, adding about $120M.

SEMI’s most recent predictions issued earlier this summer at SEMICON West indicated overall chip equipment demand would slip -2.6% in 2012 to $43.53B — and only that slight because the two biggest end-user regions, Korea ($11.48B, +32%) and Taiwan ($9.26B, +8.6%), are still pushing forward. All other regions are expected to reduce their equipment spending by – 15% to -29%. Observers at SEMICON West issued alarms for weak demand in 3Q12 but picking up some in 4Q12.

The latest numbers for 2Q12 support that scenario, at least partially. Taiwan’s demand for chip tools soared 83% in 2Q12 to $3.25B, leapfrogging the region back to the No.1 spot. Korea, meanwhile, slipped -22% Q/Q to $2.59B, a growth-rate decline roughly in line with all the other regions which are expected to be sluggish this year.

* North America was revised up, from 2.16
Figures may not add due to rounding.
(Source: SEMI/SEAJ)

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