As SIA reported earlier this month, worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $82.7 billion during the second quarter of 2014, marking the industry’s highest-ever second quarter sales total. In fact, there were other “highest ever” sales levels achieved with the release of the June 2014 data, including highest monthly sales ever and highest first half sales ever. Global quarter-over-quarter sales grew by 5.4 percent. Global semiconductor sales performance in Q2 clearly built on the strong sales trend established in Q1 and where 2013 left off.
The orange line in the table below shows how monthly semiconductor sales performance in the first half of 2014 has been above the pace of the previous five years. Particularly noteworthy is the strength of sales in April, May, and June. (Note, all monthly sales figures in the table represent a three-month moving average). [Source: World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) data]
What is accounting for this sustained sales growth? From a geographical perspective the growth is occurring across the board. For the second quarter of 2014, sales in the Americas (5.1 percent), Europe (3.5 percent), Japan (4.9 percent), and Asia Pacific (6.0 percent) grew compared to the first quarter of 2014. Also, year-over-year regional sales were strong. In fact, for all three months in Q2, sales in all four regions grew, marking a distinct run of comprehensive and sustained sales growth. From a product segment perspective, Q2 sales growth was also comprehensive, as month-over-month sales of virtually all major product categories grew through Q2.
A final indicator of how strongly global sales performed in Q2 is how the numbers compared to the WSTS Spring forecast. The forecast, which was released in June, estimated Q2 sales of $80.6 billion, or a 2.8 percent quarter-over-quarter increase. With Q2 sales coming in at $82.7 billion, the actual quarter-over-quarter percent growth was nearly double the forecast.
Through the first half of 2014, global semiconductor sales have reached record levels. While it is premature to assume sales in the second half will keep pace, the global industry has certainly positioned itself for a record year.