Worldwide semiconductor sales dropped sharply in November

PARIS – The decline in semiconductor sales accelerated in November, an industry body has reported.

While worldwide sales of semiconductors rose by 0.2 percent for the first eleven months of 2008 compared to 2007, they slowed in the latter part of the year, dropping more steeply in November than they had in October.

Sales for November fell to US$20.8 billion, 9.8 per cent down from the $23.1 billion recorded in November 2007, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). That’s a faster rate of decline than that seen in October, when sales declined 7.2 per cent year on year.

The biggest drop was in sales of memory products: Excluding memory chips, industry sales for the first 11 months would have increased by 5.6 per cent rather than 0.2 per cent.

Chip sales were hardest hit in the U.S., dropping 19.5 percent between November 2007 and November 2008, while the year-on-year decline was only 7.3 per cent for Japan and 6.2 per cent for the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.

Although the semiconductor industry is suffering from the current economic crisis, it has been hit less hard than some other industries, and in the U.S. will still be the second largest exporter in 2008, according to the SIA.