April 28, 2003 - Amsterdam, the Netherlands - Global semiconductor sales growth slowed to 13 percent year on year in March from 17.9 percent in February, according to a report by Reuters' European technology correspondent Lucas van Grinsven. The industry has been hit by oversupply and pricing pressure, industry associations said.
March sales were 2.6 percent higher at $12.13 billion compared with the traditionally slow month of February, according to World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) and the US-based Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
The sales increase in chips was led by Japan, with month-on-month growth of 4.8 percent. Meanwhile, sales in the Americas declined slightly.
The latest data indicate that it is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve the strong recovery forecast this year by industry associations.
The SIA, which had previously said it expected the global chip industry to grow by about 20 percent, scaled back its forecast, saying it now expects a "double digit" increase.
Most industry and financial analysts think even double digit growth is optimistic for a sector that uses only 75 percent of its production capacity. Low factory utilization rates turn it into a buyer's market prone to low prices.