European Semiconductor Distribution Market (DMASS) takes a break in 2012

Decline narrows in Q4/2012 but full year ends at -11%. Regional shifts to Eastern Europe continue

London, February 14, 2013 – The European Semiconductor Distribution Market followed a strange but foreseeable route in 2012. Compared to record first half 2011, the first half of 2012 was not able to uphold sales level. This gap travelled through the entire year, but it significantly narrowed until Q4 to a decrease of “only” 6.4%. At the end, 2012 finished with a decline of 10.8% and total sales revenues of 5.7 Billion Euro, according to DMASS (Distributors’ and Manufacturers’ Association of Semiconductor Specialists).

Georg Steinberger, chairman of DMASS, commented on the results: “We saw it coming that 2012 could not hold a candle to a record 2011, and here we are with a 10.8% decline. As we are in a market of high price pressure and huge swings in demand and supply, it was certainly unfortunate, but not unforeseeable and most probably many market participants were prepared. Given the environment, 2012 still was the second best year in distribution history.”

Regionally, the situation was quite different to previous years. While in 2010 and 2011 Germany and Eastern Europe (including Russia) were constantly gaining share against other Western Regions, in 2012 Germany faced a steep decline of 16.2%; its share of the total market went from 34% to 31%. Eastern Europe instead grew by over 8% (including Russia, which alone grew by 16%) and widened its share of the market to 16%.

In detail, the major markets performed as follows: Germany declined by 16.2% to 1.85 Billion Euro, Italy by 18.8% to 518 Million Euro, UK by 8.8% to 486 Million Euro, France by 8.8% to 415 Million Euro and Nordic by 17.4% to 567 Million Euro. Eastern Europe (including Russia) grew to 834 Million Euro. The other countries and regions ended at or around the average. Israel was an exception and grew by 11%, mainly due to reporting changes.

Georg Steinberger: “While Italy certainly fell victim to the macro-economic environment with a huge loss of production to the East, Germany’s weakness might be sector-related (Automotive) and also may have experienced some corrections to an overheated 24-months period in 2010/2011.”

Product-wise, the areas of Discretes, Power, MOS Micro and Standard Logic suffered most, with an annual decline between 15 and 20%, while Opto, Analog, Memories, Programmable Logic and Other Logic dropped between 4.3 and 9.9%. The only specific product areas that actually grew year over year were Sensors, High-Power-LEDs, NAND-Flash and DRAMs. The biggest product groups remained Power, Analog, MOS Micro and Programmable Logic.

Georg Steinberger: “Apart from some high-growth areas or commodity-related products, the decline of sales was across the board and most probably due to general market weakness, full inventories and price pressure. Let’s see how these indicators develop in 2013, with macro-economies improving and inventories being to a large extent depleted.”

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 34 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.