The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) announced that worldwide semiconductor sales for 2013 reached $305.6 billion, the industry's highest-ever annual total and an increase of 4.8 percent from the 2012 total of $291.6 billion. Global sales for the month of December 2013 reached $26.6 billion, marking the strongest December on record, while December sales in the Americas increased 17.3 percent year-over-year. Fourth quarter global sales of $79.9 billion were 7.7 percent higher than the total of $74.2 billion from the fourth quarter of 2012. Total sales for the year narrowly exceeded expectations from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization's industry forecast. All monthly sales numbers are compiled by WSTS and represent a three-month moving average.
"The global semiconductor industry exceeded $300 billion in sales for the first time ever in 2013, spurred by consistent, steady growth across nearly all regions and product categories," said Brian Toohey, president and CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association. "The industry finished the year on a strong note with its best December on record, indicating that recent momentum is likely to carry over into 2014."
The industry saw strong demand in several product segments during 2013. Logic was the largest semiconductor category by sales, reaching $85.9 billion in 2013, a 5.2 percent increase compared to 2012. Memory at $67.0 billion and MOS micro-ICs at $58.7 billion rounded out the top three segments in terms of sales revenue. Memory was the fastest growing segment, increasing 17.6 percent in 2013. Within memory, DRAM performed particularly well, increasing by 33.3 percent year-over-year, while NAND flash experienced strong growth of 8.1 percent. Other positively performing product segments include optoelectronic products, which reached $27.6 billion in sales (5.3 percent annual increase) and analog, which reached $40.1 billion in sales (2.1 percent annual increase).
Regionally, the Americas market continued to show signs of strength, increasing annual sales by 13.1 percent in 2013. Annual sales also increased in Asia Pacific (7.0 percent) and Europe (5.2 percent), but fell sharply in Japan (-15.2 percent) in part due to the devaluation of the Japanese yen. Sales trend lines for Europe and Japan are pointed in the right direction, perhaps indicating that 2014 could be a stronger year for both regions. Although semiconductor sales in Q3 are often stronger than Q4, sales in the Americas grew by 4.5 percent in Q4, defying seasonal trends. "The U.S. semiconductor market grew nearly three times faster than the global semiconductor market, despite lingering macroeconomic headwinds," continued Toohey. "Policymakers can help maintain and expand this growth by enacting policies that promote innovation and open markets. President Obama expressed support for several pro-growth policies - including basic research funding, immigration reform, and meaningful trade agreements - during his State of the Union Address last week. For the Administration and Congress, now is the time for action on these critical policy priorities."