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Electronics Production | June 01, 2010

European chip distribution returns to dynamic growth path

EMEA semiconductor distribution grows by 33% in Q1/2010. Record bookings and selective shortages throughout technologies continue.
The steep decline and a total market drop of almost 24% in 2009 are forgotten. In the first quarter of 2010, bookings and billings in the European semiconductor distribution went through the roof, and the trend continues well into Q2. Q1/2010, according to DMASS (Distributors’ and Manufacturers’ Association of Semiconductor Specialists), ended with EUR 1.345 billion, a growth of 33.2% compared to Q1/2009.

Georg Steinberger, Chairman of DMASS, commented: “In 25 years in the industry I have never seen such a fast rebound of the components distribution market, from crash to cash in five quarters. We are back at 2008 levels and not far away from our record year 2007. With all the bookings our industry has collected at the moment, provided it is not all fog and mirrors, 2010 is set to become a record turnaround year for distribution. It cannot be all inventory correction, as previously suggested, there must be real growth.”

The regional perspective has remained the same as before the crisis. Eastern Europe grew by 58.5% to EUR 150 million. Germany, by far the biggest market, grew by 35.4% to EUR 457 million. Of the bigger Western European markets, Italy secured its number 2 spot behind Germany, with a growth of 33.4% to EUR 155 million. The UK grew by 25.2% to EUR 112 million, France by 21.4% to EUR 111 million. The Nordic region grew under-proportionally by 21.9% to EUR 114 million, with Sweden dominating the regional picture. While Benelux, Austria and Switzerland all grew above average, Iberia trailed the trend with a growth of only 13.1%.

Georg Steinberger: “We are almost back to where we ended before the crisis, with Eastern Europe and Germany (and some smaller regions) driving the growth. The remaining weakness of France and the UK is apparent. Our hopes are that the dynamics are returning to the market in general and that distribution will continue to expand its position with the entire market scenario.”

From a product viewpoint, all areas grew double-digit, from 60% (Sensors) to only 13% (Other Logic). All major technologies grew above average, except Programmable Logic (31%) and MOS Micro (27%). Power overtook Optoelectronics for the first time ever in total sales. The single strongest growing products were IGBTs, DRAMs and Flash Memories.

Georg Steinberger: “As the growth happens in most sectors, we are confident that this is not a selective development. The slight weakness in MPUs and low-end MCUs is almost compensated by High-end-MCUs and DSPs. In other words, customers are concentrating on higher-value projects.”

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