March Month Semiconductor Equipment Billings Reflect Challenging Environment: SEMI

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  • The billings figure for March is 6.8 per cent lower than the final February 2020 level of $2.37 billion
  • SEMI had recently said that chipmakers might increase silicon wafer orders to build safety stock

North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $2.21 billion in billings worldwide in March 2020 (three-month average basis), according to the March Equipment Market Data Subscription (EMDS) Billings Report published today by Semiconductor Equipment and Materials Institute (SEMI). The billings figure is 6.8 per cent lower than the final February 2020 level of $2.37 billion, and is 20.1 percent higher than the March 2019 billings level of $1.84 billion.

“While March monthly billings of North America-based semiconductor equipment manufacturers are starting to reflect a challenging market environment, the year-over-year increase indicates companies across the semiconductor manufacturing supply chain thus far are effectively maintaining continuous operations despite COVID-19 headwinds,” said Ajit Manocha, SEMI president and CEO.

V-shaped recovery toward the end of 2020

SEMI had recently noted that the chipmakers in the second quarter of 2020, are expected to increase silicon wafer orders to build up safety stock for future demand. This move, as per SEMI, should soften the impact on sales for the quarter.

The market, as per SEMI, could see a V-shaped recovery toward the end of 2020. This is if incase massive stimulus packages planned by governments around the world soften the economic blow – a scenario the semiconductor supply chain needs to prepare for by building up inventory to meet the potential surge in demand.

It is to be noted here that worldwide total wafer fabrication materials logged a slight decrease of 0.4 per cent, from $33.0 billion to $32.8 billion, wafer fab materials, process chemicals, sputtering targets, and CMP registered declines of more than two per cent year-over-year (YoY). Packaging materials slipped 2.3 per cent, from $19.7 billion to $19.2 billion, in 2019. The only two categories to notch increases last year were substrate and other packaging materials.

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