European Semiconductor Distribution (DMASS) decline eases out over Summer Quarter

EMEA semiconductor distribution sales go down by 23.4% in Q3/2009.  Signs of sequential improvements raise hope for decline to further narrow down in 2009. 

London, November 18, 2009 – 2009 will turn out to be one of the worst years in European semiconductor distribution of the last 20 years. The first nine reporting months amounted to a decrease of over 27% versus the same period of 2008. However, the steep decline of the first half has narrowed down over the last quarter. Q3/2009 ended with sales of 926 Million Euro, a decline of 23.4% versus Q3/2008. Hopes are high that the market will further recover and 2009, as reported by DMASS (Distributors’ and Manufacturers’ Association of Semiconductor Specialists), will end up with a decline of  between 20 and 25%.

Georg Steinberger, Chairman of DMASS, commented: “It seems that the dramatic hit the entire industry has taken since October last year, when the finance crisis swapped over into the industry, is wearing off and that the electronics market is on the way to recovery. Currently, we see a steep increase of bookings and in some cases delivery problems, both of which will add to the recovery. For 2009, we will still end up with a decrease of over 20%. And going forward, the big question is: Do we see a real recovery or a modest inventory correction that will ease out over the first half of 2010?”

The regional picture did not show any real winners or losers. The biggest region, Germany, declined in Q3 by 24.9% to 315 Million Euro compared to Q3/2008. Italy went down 27.8% to 91 Million Euro, the UK 22.8% to 86 Million Euro and France by 22% to 73 Million Euro. Nordic and Eastern Europe fell at the same rate, by 26.2% respectively 24.4%. Countries that declined significantly below average were Benelux (-10.2%), Austria (-11.5%) and Iberia (-14.3%).

Georg Steinberger: “The crisis may have erased many differences that have existed between the regions, specifically with regards to Eastern Europe. The European electronics industry has arrived at the bottom (hopefully) everywhere and it is about time to see how Europe can strengthen its production base again. From a sustainability perspective, the cheap production tourism around the world does not make much sense and that could drive a European electronics renaissance.”

In terms of major product groups, the only group in the single-digit percent range of decline was memory (-6.5%). Of the two biggest groups Analog shrunk by 20.7% compared to Q3/2008 and MOS Micro by 27.7% (mainly driven by the steep fall of MPU revenues). Significantly better than average were DRAMs, RF Discretes, Higher-End Microcontrollers and Advanced Analog products.

Georg Steinberger: “With bookings currently exceeding billings by far and lead times increasing, we can already hope to see growth again in some product areas during Q4, but very pointedly and not at a broad level.”

DMASS (Distributors’ and Manufacturers’ Association of Semiconductor Specialists), a European non-profit organisation, is the only industry body that collates detailed semiconductor distribution market data on a quarterly basis by country and product groups such as microcontrollers, flash memories, analog components and many more. DMASS figures are collected and consolidated by Data Dynamics Ltd.

DMASS, founded in 1989, provides its members with a reliable statistical tool to evaluate their relative mass-market performance. The organisation currently consists of 33 active members and represents between 80% and 85% of the total European distribution market, depending on the regions. To continuously increase its European market coverage, DMASS welcomes new membership applications from distributors and semiconductor manufacturers.