LONDON — Japan is set to remain by far the largest buyer of chip making equipment in 2005 and 2006, roughly a third larger than the next largest region, Taiwan, according to a consensus forecast published by the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International industry organization.
Indeed Japan will be the biggest spender through to 2008 despite the difficult times and organization changes its integrated device manufacturing companies have endured in recent times.
As part of those organizational changes Japan committed itself to manufacturing in 2004 and the Japanese market for chip equipment grew more than 49 percent in 2004. The region’s appetite diminished in 2005 by 2.8 percent, but it remains the largest market region for worldwide equipment sales with $8.04 billion of new equipment sold into the region in 2005. But Japan did not decline as other regions in 2005 which overall is set to decline 11.2 percent, according to SEMI’s forecast. Sales of new equipment in China and the Rest-of-World market regions will decline 54 percent and 35 percent respectively.
South Korea stands out as a beacon of high-spending in 2005. That geographical region is expected to expand purchases of semiconductor manufacturing equipment from $4.61 billion in 2004 to $5.89 billion in 2005.
Japan is set to remain the highest spending region in 2006 with purchases of $8.58 billion. Taiwan, South Korea and North America, should be at a similar level with purchases of $6.57 billion, $6.36 billion and $6.24 billion respectively. However China will resume its role as the fastest growing region as it jumps 26.8 percent to $1.57 billion.
Indeed, Japan is set to remain the highest spending region on chip making equipment through until 2008 when it will spend $10.67 billion compared to Taiwan’s $9.09 billion and South Korea’s $8.18 billion. Even then China will be smallest spender on chip making equipment buying just $2.55 billion worth of equipment in 1988, according to SEMI.