Chips get soggy in flat worldwide December sales

Global sales of chips were flat in December totalling  $25.15 billion compared to November’s sales of $25.9 billion.

Those are the latest findings from research company Carnegie, which also found that contrary to its predictions PC chips rebounded, and handset chips weakened within December. It claims that some commodity chips also fell sharply in price.

The research company identified that end product data was strong in December, judging by Chinese PC production data or handset export data. It also said that despite a poor December world chip sales were expected to rise by five percent in dollar terms in 2011.

Some of the good news continued for the PC chip industry which hit a multi-year high. Sadly commodity PC memory chips didn’t fare so well, with Carnegie claiming that these were hurt by increased supply, which led to lower prices.

Regionally, China produced 22.1 million computers in December, a figure which was up from November. Carnegie added worries about a chinese labour shortage in Q1 meant that PC manufacturers panicked and over compensated in December to ensure there was enough supply.

These hit stores earlier than usual, making an unusual appearance for the Christmas season

It was good news for Chinese handset exports, which “were very strong in December” for the second month running.

Unfortunately the same could not be said for Korean handset exports, which weakened in December due to the usual seasonal patterns. Over in Japan tech production rebounded strongly in December, and Q1 production forecasts were for similar levels to December.