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Supply Chain Management

Fab Tool Orders Fall, Board Orders Rise

26 November 2014

New orders for semiconductor equipment in October fell 7 percent compared to September, while equipment shipments dropped 5.8 percent, according to trade association SEMI.

Chip equipment orders in October totaled $1.10 billion, down from $1.19 billion in September. New orders also declined 1.9 percent from October 2013 when orders totaled $1.12 billion.

The three-month average of worldwide shipments in October 2014 was $1.18 billion, down 5.8 percent from September 2014 level, but 10.6 percent higher than the October 2013 billings level of $1.07 billion.

The equipment book-to-bill ratio in October was 0.93, down from 0.94, according to SEMI.

A book-to-bill ratio of 0.93 means that equipment manufacturers received $93 in new orders for every $100 of equipment that they shipped in the month.

"While the global semiconductor equipment industry will see strong double-digit growth this year and is slated for further growth in 2015, order activity posted by North American suppliers has moderated, resulting in a book-to-bill ratio below parity for two consecutive months," said SEMI president and CEO Denny McGuirk.

Meanwhile, North American printed circuit board shipments increased 0.8 percent in October 2014 from October 2013, but declined 5.2 percent from September 2014, according to Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC).

New orders for boards increased 28.8 percent compared to October 2013 and were 15.5 percent higher than October 2014.

The North American PCB book-to-bill ratio was 1.05, up from 0.99 in September.

“Unusually strong growth in North American PCB orders in October is good news for an industry that has experienced declining sales for more than three years,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “The impact can be seen in the book-to-bill ratio, which made a strong comeback this month, indicating that sales may begin to rebound by the end of the year,” she added.

Related links:

IHS Semiconductor Manufacturing

News articles:

U.S. Manufacturing Moves Full Speed Ahead

Chip Equipment Orders Dip in September

Chip Equipment Orders, Shipments Rise

Fab Tool Sales Rise in Q2

Chip Equipment Spending to Rise 20% in 2015

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