DMASS figures reveal decline of ‘only’ 3.6%

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DMASS report shows semiconductor distribution sales declined 3.6% in Q2/2008 compared to Q2/2007.

According to DMASS (Distributors’ and Manufacturers’ Association of Semiconductor Specialists), the semiconductor distributor and manufacturer members achieved quarterly distribution revenues of 1.34Billion Euro in Q2/2008, which represents a decline of “only” 3.6%. This explains why Q2 2008 ended better than expected, because it was compared against a soft period when downturn of the European components market first began in Q2 2007. DMASS adds that sequentially (against Q1/2008), sales were down by 3.3%. Ian Bass, Chairman of DMASS, commented on the second quarter data: “As stated in our previous comment, the cycle of the semiconductor distribution market in Europe seems to ease out over the course of the year. The decline in Q2 was considerably lower than in Q1. Unless something unexpected happens - like a sinking demand in volumes - the cycle should continue to flatten out. On a cumulative basis, the first six months of 2008 so far brought a decline of 5.8%. Let’s be optimistic that our specialised manufacturing base in Europe holds up and the price pressure, driven by the weak dollar, reduces during the year.” According to Bass, the pattern seems to have crystallised over time, with Germany and Eastern Europe continuously holding the top ranks. Italy and Nordic seem to maintain their levels and positions, while specifically the UK still shows extreme weakness, at least from a market perspective. Nevertheless, the UK continues to be a major design region with more influence over electronics decision-making than the market might suggest. By product, the picture in Q2/2008 also looked quite different. A double-digit weakness seems to have befallen the logic sector, while discretes, analogue and mos micro, which together represent 70% of the DMASS total, ended between -0.2% and -2.1% down compared to Q2/2007. For individual products, positive growth figures were recorded for igbts (34.4%), dsps (11.4%), other discretes (10.4%), mpus (9.1%), rf (8.7%) and drams (7.7%). The losers were programmable memories (flash, eprom and eeprom), led displays, couplers and other power products. Bass concluded: “As stated in previous reports, the downturn on products in most cases was not driven by a lack of demand but by continued price erosion and a weak dollar. We hope that the impact of the slowdown of the European economy on our export oriented electronics industry of high specialisation remains small. Ecological pressure and high fuel prices might make some manufacturers rethink their strategies and might bring their manufacturing back to Europe.”