Equipment market sales are expected to reach a record high of US $ 62.1bn this year, thanks to the robust semiconductor market conditions of the past several years. However, due to delayed investment by the semiconductor industry, a decline is expected within the next year. It is reverse growth in four years.
According to data released by the International Semiconductor Equipment Association (SEMI) on December 12, worldwide semiconductor equipment sales rose 9.7% year-on-year. The record high of $ 56.6 billion (approx. 63.79 trillion won) was replaced by the record high of 2017.
The atmosphere leading into the next year is not positive. As DRAM and NAND flash prices are turning downward, major players are adjusting their supply. Samsung Electronics seems to have delayed DRAM investment in Pyongtaek's factory upper floors. SK Hynix officially announced that it will cut investment in equipment (CAPEX) next year by a small degree. As a result, sales in Korea, which is the largest market for semiconductor equipment, will fall by 22.9% next year. China is projected to only drop by 2.2%. Taiwan, Japan, and the United States are expected to rise.
Nihon Keizai has quoted Tokyo Electric Co. President Kato Tokishiki who said, “Investment is delayed in order to improve productivity and balance of supply and demand for memory companies.”
However, SEMI said the market will grow by 20.7% from the previous year to the US $ 71.9 billion (about 81 trillion won) as demand increases again in 2020.
"In the short term, there are negative factors such as memory price decline and trade disputes, but the semiconductor market is solid in the long term," said Dan Dunn, Chief Financial Officer of Applied Materials, the world's No. 1 equipment maker. Lee Seok-hee, CEO of SK Hynix, also said, "Let's prepare for the cold at the moment" in his inauguration introduction uploaded on the company’s internal network and added, "There will be a short-term difficulty in the market, but the steady growth of the semiconductor industry centered on memory is a clear fact.”
Meanwhile, SEMI expects the semiconductor equipment market to remain in the order of Korea, China, Taiwan, and Japan by 2019 as well as by 2020.