Electronic components

The trend of semiconductors


For the group, which represents the great majority of existing components, the forecast on a world scale for the year end is by 2.1%, with peaks by 5.7%  for Asia Pacific and by 5.3% for Emea.

Benno Scharf

Semiconductors represent the most relevant category among the electronic components produced and consumed in the world. Their incidence on the total is estimated between 70% and 75%. The uncertainty of this percentage derives from the fact that, while for them and the other important class, the passive one, very precise production and consumption data exist and are available, for other types, especially for electromechanical ones, statistical surveys are approximate and classification criteria differ from one Country to the other.
In any case, there is no doubt that semiconductors represent the vast majority of the existing components. In the past trade associations monthly released the data concerning the 4 areas into which our planet is conventionally subdivided: Americas, Asia –Pacific (including also Oceania), Japan and Emea, that’s to say Europe, Middle East and Africa. Starting from the last year, however, the inherent reports have become more occasional, without a regular cadence. For this reason we will treat the subject according to the availability of reliable data.

In the last press release by the Esia association we can notice a substantial stability: in the first 4 months of 2013, the world consumption of semiconductors has grown by 0.3% if compared with the same period of 2012, while in the only month of April there was the 0.6% growth versus March.
In the 4 areas, anyway, things have gone differently. Neatly positive was, as usual, Asia-Pacific, the world zone where nowadays most of electronic productions have been delocalized. This area, which alone absorbs 58.1% of world semiconductors, registered the 5.8% rise in the first four-month period of 2013 and 2.0% growth in the only month of April. Concerning this, inside this area China is still the most dynamic nation.
Fairly good was, on the whole, the trend of Emea, in particular of Europe: the 0.9% growth in the first four months, with anyway the 0.6% downturn in April.

Negative seems on the contrary the situation of Americas, with -1.7% drops in the first four-month period, and with – 0.6% decreases in the only April.
Japan is finally living a serious crisis. Here 2012 was a disastrous year, with the – 18.7% drop in the first four months. April seems anyway to show the end of the crisis, with a downturn by -2.9% only.

In the course of its six-monthly meeting, held last May in Cologne (Germany), the international association Wsts processed the forecasts for 2013, which we report in the table.
The growth expected for the year end on a world scale is by 2.1%, with peaks by 5.7% for Asia Pacific and by 5.3% for Emea. For Americas, too, we foresee a more modest 1.6% rise, while only Japan should end the year with a further -13.8% downturn.

When these forecasts were prepared, the figures of the complete first four-month period of 2013 were not known, yet. We should naturally wonder whether, in the light of the latter, the formulated forecasts are still completely valid or whether in the future convention, which will be held in Taiwan next November, they will undergo modifications of certain relevance.


4 months of 2012 4 months of 2013 % variation4 months of 2013

4 months of 2012

% variationApril/March 2012 Variations expected 2013\2012 year
Europe (EMEA)  11.2 11.3    0.9 – 0.6   5.3
Americas  17.7 17.4   – 1.7 – 0.6   1.6
Asia-Pacific  51.9 54.9     5.8   2.0   5.7
Of which China  20.5 21.4     4.4   7.5   7.0
Japan  13.4 10.9    -18.7  – 2.9  -13.8
World  94.2 94.5     0.3   0.6    2.1
Europe Billion Euros   8.5  8.6     1.2 – 1.2 n.a.

Source: ESIA (European Semiconductors Industry Association), WSTS (World Semiconductors Trade Statistics)