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Analysis | November 16, 2021

Components bottleneck drives German components distribution forward

The shortage of components continues to drive great numbers for the distribution industry. Although the summer quarter did not bring new sales records, it clearly ended with record orders.

Sales by distributor members of the FBDi grew by 25.2% to EUR 887 million in the third quarter. On incoming orders, the industry set a new record with EUR 1.48 billion, which represents a plus of 135%. As a result, the book-to-bill ratio ended once again at a record-breaking level of 1.67. For the year as a whole, the electronics components distribution industry is expected to grow by between 15% and 20%, returning to the pre-Corona turn-over level of around EUR 3.3 billion. At a product level, the FBDi recorded significant differences: Semiconductors, by far the largest product group, grew by just under 20% to EUR 576 million, electromechanics byalmost 38% to EUR 126 million, and passives by 38% to EUR 115 million. Sensors (+69% to just under EUR 9 million), displays (by 24% to EUR 16), power supplies (including batteries) by 29% to EUR 34 million, and assemblies and subsystems by 39% to just under EUR 11 million also increased considerably. This resulted in a slightly different market split between semiconductors (65%), passives (13%) and electromechanical components (14%). Power supplies and the remaining products each contributed 4%. "Compared to the once again massive increase in orders, the 25% sales growth in the third quarter is almost disappointing. The lack of availability has clearly had an impact on our growth. How much of the future orders can actually be realized remains to be seen - almost 4.2 billion euros in new orders have been booked in 2021 alone, in 3 quarters! Even with a lot of imagination, this cannot reflect the true market demand, even if a large part of next year already seems to be in the bag," says FBDi Chairman of the board Georg Steinberger. The way in which the components industry - above all semiconductors - has already arrived in the mainstream media amazes Steinberger. "For 35 years, first as a journalist and then as a marketeer, I have tried to make the wonders of microelectronics accessible to a wider public, but this has hardly crossed the industry boundaries. Today, even the daily news reports on the shortage of 'computer chips' and its impact on the entire national economy, the 'new gold'. One can only hope that this will not only result in billions in subsidies for chip production, but finally in the improvement of educational structures that will enable Europe and Germany to develop the leading chips for the future. Kids, become engineers and chip designers!"
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November 29 2021 10:48 pm V19.2.0-2