Semiconductor sales up 58 percent year-on-year

Today the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) Global Sales Report has announced a record number of sales for March 2010, with a five percent month-on-month growth from February.

Sales have grown a gigantic 58.3 percent year-on-year from March 2009, a low for the semiconductor industry because of the recession, when sales were at $14.6 billion. Last March reported a hefty sales figure of $23.1 billion. The first quarter of 2010 brought in $69.2 billion compared to the relatively dismal $43.7 billion for Q1 2009. It is expected that sales for 2010 will continue to be strong and that growth will moderately increase, as with the industry recovery which began in Q3 2009.

The sales for this March are the highest the SIA has ever seen for the month, beaten only in figures by record sales back in November 2007. Strong categories over March have been PC logic chips and handset memory chips like NAND and NOR.

Production levels for foundries and device manufacturers have shot up in line with projected demand levels for 2010. It is thought by the SIA that the healthy sales figures can be attributed to the Chinese market, as well as the growing demand in developing economies for PCs and mobile phones. Carnegie Securities Research believes that the increase in March chip sales has been due to higher prices rather than higher volumes, which have been squeezing buyers of chips such as Dell, HP, Nokia and Apple.

SIA says that it is “cautiously optimistic” that global sales will show double-digit growth by the end of 2010, as the semiconductor industry is closely tied to worldwide economic recovery.

Carnegie Securities Research raised its 2010 semiconductor forecast, based on these results, from 15% to 18% growth in dollars thanks to the strong pricing trends as we move into Q2. It says that in Q2, sales should rise over 30 percent year-on-year.